US DOWN SUSPECTED CHINA SPY BALLOON.
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on February 5, 2023
The United State has shot down a suspected Chinese Spy Balloon on Saturday after it drifted off the East Coast near the Carolinas and its debris expected to be taken to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia for analysis, Pentagon confirms.
Its arrival had gone unnoticed by the public as it floated eastward over Alaska, where it was first detected by North American Aerospace Defense Command on January 28.
When US President Joe Biden learned a suspected Chinese spy balloon was drifting through the stratosphere 60,000 feet above Montana, his first inclination was to take it down.
By then, however, it was both too early and too late. After flying over swaths of sparsely populated land, it was now projected to keep drifting over American cities and towns. The debris from the balloon could endanger lives on the ground, his top military brass had told him.
Biden had given the order to down the Balloon since Wednesday but for safety of anyone who might be on the ground, it was delayed till it got over water.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had been scheduled to depart for Beijing Friday night, on a trip that was intended to reinforce communication and cooperation between the two countries that has had growing tensions that has not been helped by China’s position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Blinken indefinitely postponed what was to be an already tense trip to China on Friday, citing a Chinese reconnaissance balloon moving east across the United States that posed a threat to national security calling it;
Irresponsible act and a clear violation of U.S. sovereignty and international law that undermined the purpose of the trip.
China’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that the balloon was a Civilian Weather Airship intended for scientific research that was blown off course. It described the incident as a result of a “force majeure” for which it was not responsible.
A claim that was summarily dismissed by U.S. officials. A senior Pentagon official told reporters Thursday night that the object was clearly a surveillance balloon that was flying over sensitive sites to collect intelligence.
It remains to be seen how things develop between the two countries with this act of ” irresponsibility” by China, as described by US officials. But it is clear that a solution to the worsening tensions between the two World power-house may not be in sight just yet.