The Chinese balloon that crossed the US was equipped to collect intelligence signals and was part of a large-scale military air reconnaissance program targeting more than 40 countries, the Biden administration said on Thursday. before the US shoots it down.
Balloon Fleet is operated by the People’s Liberation Army and is equipped with advanced equipment specifically designed to be used for espionage and to gather sensitive intelligence from targets around the United States.
said. Similar balloons have flown across five continents, according to the administration.
A statement from a senior State Department official provides the most detailed information to date linking Chinese forces with the balloon shot down by the United States over the weekend in the Atlantic Ocean. The disclosure details are in response to China’s persistent denial that the balloons were used for espionage.
Accusations of balloons amount to an “information war” against Beijing. 44:44 44:44 Before the US provided any new information in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said the large unmanned balloon was a private meteorological airship that had gone off course and that the US was
“It’s gone too far”, knocking him down.
“Irresponsible,” said Mao. According to her, her latest allegations “may be part of the US information war against China.
China’s defense ministry declined to answer a call from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday to discuss the balloon issue, the Pentagon said. China did not respond to questions about which government department or company the agency belongs to and how it plans to deliver on its promise to take further action on the matter.
The United States has given categorically contradictory characteristics to balloons and their purpose.
Images of the balloon taken by the US U-2 reconnaissance plane as it crossed the US showed that it was “intelligible” with multiple antennas and other equipment designed to upload sensitive information and solar panels.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Indo-Pacific, Jedidiah Royal, told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that the military is making “very good guesses” about the information requested by China. Additional information is expected to be provided under Confidentiality Settings.
A State Department official provided details to reporters via email on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, which had already canceled Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s planned trip to China.
officials said analysis of the balloon wreckage was “inconsistent” with China’s description of an off-course weather balloon. The US is reaching out to the targeted countries to discuss the extent of China’s surveillance program and is investigating potential actions “in support of a US balloon invasion,” the official said.
all. sovereign airspace.
The official said the US was confident Saturday that the manufacturer of the downed balloon had “a direct relationship with the Chinese military and was an approved supplier to the Chinese military.”
The official cited information from the PLA’s official procurement portal as evidence that the company and the military are connected.
The US House of Representatives was expected to pass a resolution on Thursday accusing China of “a blatant violation of US sovereignty” and of “trying to deceive the international community through false allegations of an intelligence-gathering campaign.” The resolution was expected to garner support from both Democrats and Republicans, reflecting growing bipartisan anger in Washington over what lawmakers see as Chinese aggression.
This is not the first time the US government has publicly condemned the activities of the People’s Liberation Army. In an initial trial in 2014, the Obama administration’s Department of Justice charged five PLA hackers with stealing trade secrets by hacking into the computer networks of major US corporations.
PLA hackers charges were also charged in 2020 with hacking credit reporting agency Equifax to steal the identities of tens of millions of Americans.