Alleged spy balloons from China over the US have heightened tensions between the two countries. The Pentagon now shows one of the balloons from the cockpit of a reconnaissance aircraft before it was launched.
The Pentagon has released a photo of the suspected Chinese spy balloon. It shows the balloon hovering over the United States mainland on February 3, the US Department of Defense announced on Wednesday. The photo was taken from the cockpit of a US military reconnaissance aircraft. Just one day later, the US military shot down the Chinese balloon over the Atlantic off the coast of the state of South Carolina.
The salvage of the balloon had already been completed at the end of last week. The debris is now being evaluated by the FBI’s counterintelligence agency. “Most of the balloon, including the cargo, has been recovered,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said Wednesday. She did not want to give any further details on the evaluation of the rubble and referred to the FBI.
Washington Post report
Debris salvage in progress – spy balloon apparently part of a large Chinese surveillance program
US accuses China of spying on balloons
The United States accuses China of using the balloon to spy on military installations. Beijing, on the other hand, speaks of a civilian research balloon that has gone off course. The incident caused additional tension in the already strained relationship. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China’s top foreign policy leader Wang Yi met on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference last weekend. Initially, however, there were no signs of relaxation afterwards.
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