The Chinese government has claimed a suspected spy balloon spotted over the US is merely a weather monitoring device, amid calls from 45th President Donald Trump and others to shoot it down.
The potential Chinese spy balloon was detected over Billings, Montana on Thursday, after it had initially flown over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and Canada. Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said the balloon was “traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”
Sen. Steve Daines of Montana requested a full security briefing from the Biden administration on the balloon, suspecting it to be an intelligence gathering mission targeting nuclear missile silos and other military assets.
“It is vital to establish the flight path of this balloon, any compromised U.S. national security assets, and all telecom or IT infrastructure on the ground within the U.S. that this spy balloon was utilizing,” Daines said in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Photo purportedly shows Chinese spy balloon spotted over Montana https://t.co/Ggymjix75d
Image credit: Megan Nelson via @YourBigSky pic.twitter.com/1E6XFhTE49
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 2, 2023
In a statement on Friday morning, the Chinese government claimed that the balloon was a “civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes,” and that due to being affected by winds, and with “limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”
The statement added that the Chinese government “regrets the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace due to force majeure.”
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning had previously said that they are a “responsible country and has always strictly abided by international laws, and China has no intention to violate the territory and airspace of any sovereign countries.”
The airship is from China. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes. Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course. The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the pic.twitter.com/ovwR8Obx6k
— Zichen Wang (@ZichenWanghere) February 3, 2023
Despite the claim from the Chinese government that the balloon was a civilian asset, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called off a major trip to Beijing he was due to take this weekend on Friday, following the statement.
Various Republicans, including 45th President Donald Trump, have called for the government to “shoot down the balloon.”
Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana said that the balloon was a “clear provocation” against America, while Sen. Tom Cotton suggested that if the balloon was shot down, its internal technology could be an “intelligence bonanza.”
Shoot. It. Down.
The Chinese spy balloon is clear provocation. In Montana we do not bow. We shoot it down.
Take the shot.
— Ryan Zinke (@RyanZinke) February 3, 2023
President Biden should stop coddling and appeasing the Chinese communists. Bring the balloon down now and exploit its tech package, which could be an intelligence bonanza.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 3, 2023
However, the Biden administration has followed “guidance” not to shoot down the balloon, as it does not see it as an “immediate military threat.”
According to Secretary Austin, there is a further possibility that the debris could harm civilians or property if it was shot out of the sky.
February 4, 2023 at 4:58 am
“China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning had previously said that they are a “responsible country and has always strictly abided by international laws, and China has no intention to violate the territory and airspace of any sovereign countries.”
Really?? We’re supposed to believe that there isn’t a sinister ulterior motive for this balloon from China floating over an ICBM Missile site in the United States of America?? Shoot the damn thing down, and confiscate and examine whatever spy technology China installed in that balloon!! What about the Chinese balloon spotted over South America?? This appears to be DELIBERATE as opposed to coincidence!!
No Commies !!
February 4, 2023 at 9:14 am
Deport Chi-Com Joe , and the Bidumps to China !!
February 4, 2023 at 5:39 am
I want to know why our power just blinked on this coldest morning of the year?
February 4, 2023 at 6:52 am
Maybe mush bra in gave China the ok to fly that spy balloon over our country after all joe is working for them.
February 4, 2023 at 6:56 am
DON’T know if i can this or not http://www.gofundme.com/6r3my-roofing-fund
February 4, 2023 at 8:54 am
If you believe that schiff, than you believe bidens are honest too!!
February 4, 2023 at 9:11 am
If it’s “only” a weather ballon Xi won’t mind losing it.
February 4, 2023 at 9:35 am
SHOOT IT DOWN !! can you say EMP THREAT !!!!
February 4, 2023 at 10:22 am
So we are letting it waft along like China Joes mind. Under his command it would have dropped upstream of a dam plugging up the works.
February 4, 2023 at 10:52 am
Dimentia Joe is ready to send weapons to Ukraine to fight Russia but won’t shoot down a Chink balloon that’s currently in the US? Goes to show you what kind of POS he is.
February 4, 2023 at 12:25 pm
Biden doesn’t think anything is a menace to our national security especially if it comes from China. SHOOT THE BLASTED THING DOWN AND THE ONE IN SOUTH AMERICA AS WELL. If anyone is stupid to think that these balloons are only weather balloons, I hear the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale.
February 4, 2023 at 1:24 pm
Stop the balloon and the payments to Sniffin’ Joe and Snortin’ Hunter stop from their side hustle with China.
February 4, 2023 at 3:48 pm
AND we trust everything that the CCP says and does? Not one word or action! Communists is another durogatory term for shitters: demonrats, rinos, freemasons or simply ‘the devil’…