Posted 10 февраля 2023,, 08:42

Published 10 февраля 2023,, 08:42

Modified 10 февраля 2023,, 08:54

Updated 10 февраля 2023,, 08:54

The Chinese balloon had spy equipment, according to the White House

The Chinese balloon had spy equipment, according to the White House

10 февраля 2023, 08:42
Chinese spy balloons flew over more than 40 countries and were controlled by Chinese military intelligence, according to the US State Department. The FBI advises not to jump to conclusions.

According to The New York Times, the Biden administration, relying on the opinion of experts, insist that the "kite" launched by the Chinese is part of the "global spy fleet" of the PRC, controlled by the Chinese military. The relevant findings were outlined in a State Department report, which states that the Pentagon sent its U-2 spy planes to track and study the balloon before a fighter jet shot it down over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.

"The pilots took pictures of a suspicious object when it was still in the air. His visible equipment, which included antennas, "was clearly intended for reconnaissance surveillance and did not correspond to the equipment of weather balloons", - the document notes.

According to the representative of the US administration, it was also established that other spy balloons launched by the PRC at different times flew over more than 40 countries on five continents, about which the governments of these countries have already been informed.

Meanwhile, investigators from the Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are examining the wreckage of a downed balloon that the US Navy recovered from shallow waters off the coast of South Carolina.

FBI officials said Thursday that experts are carefully studying the material obtained, in particular, a small amount of electronics found floating on the water.

The security forces believe that the main part of the equipment is scattered on the ocean floor and it is necessary to continue the search. So far, it has been established that the balloon was 200 feet high (more than 60 meters) and had a payload the size of a regional aircraft.

The intelligence services are suspicious of the array of antennas of the downed balloon, which was probably able to collect the necessary information and send it to a Chinese satellite. Experts believe that the antennas could detect communication devices, including mobile phones and radio stations, and download the necessary secret data from them, for example, about missile silos in the United States.

FBI analysts also concluded that the solar panels on the balloon were large enough to produce energy to operate "multiple active sensors for intelligence gathering".

Some officials in the administration told WP that the study of what kind of information the balloon could collect is the top priority of the US intelligence services. At the same time, the White House said that the specialists did not find any evidence that the balloon could carry weapons.

Investigators are also looking into whether any balloon equipment uses technology from American or other Western companies. Any such discovery could push the Biden administration to take tougher actions to stop exporting technologies to China that can be used by the military and security services of the PRC.

Despite the growing international scandal, writes Al Jazeera, the US president said that his administration does not seek confrontation with China, but warned Beijing against threatening US sovereignty.

"As we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act decisively to protect the United States", - Joe Biden stressed during his speech to Congress.