According to a report, Chinese spy balloons targeted several nations, including India
Days after the US military shot down a Chinese surveillance craft flying over sensitive installations in the country, a media report claimed that China had operated a fleet of spy balloons that were aimed at several nations, including India and Japan. US officials have informed their friends and allies, including India, about the discovery of the Chinese surveillance balloon that was downed by a fighter jet off the coast of South Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.
Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of state, informed representatives from approximately 40 embassies about it on Monday.
According to a report from The Washington Post published on Tuesday, "the surveillance balloon effort, which has operated for several years in part out of Hainan province off the south coast of China, has gathered information on military assets in nations and areas of emerging strategic interest to China, including Japan, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines."
Interviews with multiple unnamed defence and intelligence officials served as the basis for The Post's investigation.
These surveillance airships, which the PLA (People's Liberation Army) air force operates in part, have reportedly been detected over five continents, according to officials, the newspaper stated.
A senior defence official was quoted as saying, "These balloons are all a part of a PRC (People's Republic of China) fleet of balloons developed to perform surveillance activities, which also violated the sovereignty of other countries."
In addition to the one recorded last week, at least four balloons have reportedly been seen over Hawaii, Florida, Texas, and Guam in recent years, according to the daily.
Three of the four occurrences occurred within the Trump administration, but the Chinese surveillance airships were only just discovered, it claimed.
The high-altitude surveillance balloon was recovered on Tuesday, according to a sequence of images supplied by the Pentagon.