U.S. intelligence has concluded that the confirmed Chinese spy balloon that traveled last week throughout the continental United States was part of an extensive surveillance program operated by the Chinese military in an attempt to assess military capabilities around the world. The U.S. fell victim to his global effort, as China is attempting to surveil militaries from multiple countries by using these unmanned balloon-like aircraft.
The Chinese spy balloon flew over the United States for nearly a week until it was shot down Saturday over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of South Carolina.
According to VOA News:
The link of the balloon to the People’s Liberation Army, the formal name of China’s military, was first reported Tuesday by The Washington Post and later confirmed by the U.S.-based cable news network, CNN. The balloon is part of a fleet of unmanned airships that has been partly operated out of Hainan province on China’s southern coast.
The Post quoted several unnamed U.S. officials who say the program has conducted surveillance missions in countries and areas of emerging strategic interest, including Japan, India, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines.
At this point, it’s still unclear what information the Chinese spy balloon was able to capture during its surveillance operation, however, it was just confirmed that obtaining information about foreign militaries was the main objective.
President Biden would go on to call the spy balloon’s flight through the U.S. an “unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”