The Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday was the product of a factory based out of a naval base on a remote island in the Communist nation, it has been revealed.
A new report from details that the airship, which triggered a dramatic, and public, spying saga that worsened Chinese-U.S.relations, has been a key part of Beijing’s intelligence operations for years.
The report says that the Chinese military has into the airspace of geopolitical rivals such as Japan, India and the Philippines.
that at least four other balloons were previously detected over US airspace, in Hawaii, Florida, t Texas and Guam, three of those were
Last Friday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken hours before he was due to leave because of the balloon. While on Tuesday, China’s defense minster rejected an overture from US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to discuss the events of the last week.
Yulin Naval Base on Hainan Island, where the country’s balloon program is based out of
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pictured with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe in November 2022.On Tuesday, Fenghe rejected a call from Austin over the balloon
The Pentagon said in a statement: ‘Lines between our militaries are particularly important in moments like this. Unfortunately, the PRC has declined our request. Our commitment to open t be on the scene for days as the race is on to secure the wreckage
In the briefings in Beijing, the United States presented information to demonstrate that the balloon, which entered U.S. airspace in the last days of January and yA flew over U.S. military sites, was not a weather research balloon as Beijing said but an airship that was used for espionage, said diplomats in Beijing who attended the discussions.
The diplomats at the Beijing briefing said they were told that the solar panels on the balloon meant that it needed more power than a weather balloon, and that its flight path did not conform with natural wind patterns.
US officials have said the balloon was equipped with rudders and t propellers.
‘Based on the U.S. briefing, our own understanding about such balloons and the fact that China has so far refused to name the company or entity that owns this balloon, we find it hard to believe it is a civilian weather balloon,’ said a Beijing-based Asian defense diplomat.
An F-22 Raptor fighter jet fired a single AIM-9X missile to take down a Chinese spy balloon and aK its payload, which was equipped with cameras, sensors and radars
The spy balloon is pictured being shot out of the sky on Saturday above South Carolina
The information was similar to what Pentagon has shared with reporters since the weekend, saying the balloons were part of a Chinese aerial fleet that has also violated the sovereignty of other countries.
On Tuesday, Navy divers began pulling pieces of the balloon from the depths of the ocean floor on Tuesday, using sophisticated reconnaissance drones dubbed the Kingfish and the Swordfish to locate the debris.
After collecting all of the balloon’s white fabric and shell structure found floating on the surface, the Navy has now shifted to an all-underwater search for the remnants of the massive balloon.
Navy and Coast Guard personnel were using underwater drones to locate and map the debris field, and divers were in the water gathering up what they could, officials said.