WASHINGTON — The Chinese balloon that flew over the United States last week and was shot down was unmistakably equipped with spy equipment. So the balloon did not collect weather data, as the Chinese claim, according to a top US State Department official.
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Photos taken by American reconnaissance planes show that the devices the balloon was fitted with were clearly made for observation for espionage purposes, the anonymous employee says. He points to the array of antennas, probably to collect and locate communications signals. The US also believes the balloon was part of a fleet of spy balloons sent by the Beijing regime to more than 40 countries on five continents.
Ⓒ ANP / ZUMA PRESS
The appearance of the huge Chinese observation balloon over US territory has further cooled the already frosty relations between the two countries. Beijing calls the downing of the balloon an overreaction.
This balloon was obviously going to be detected.
My guess that it’s an indication of Chinese frustration and irritation over the fact that they can’t match the US’ network of spy planes, surface vessels, submarines, satellites, and drones.