Chinese Spy Balloon: According to the White House, China's High-Altitude Balloon is Designed for Intelligence Gathering
John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, acknowledged the Chinese spy balloon's connection to information gathering on Monday (local time).
He stated at a press conference that China has a high-altitude balloon programme for intelligence gathering that is associated with the People's Liberation Army.
He claimed that although the Chinese spy balloon programme offered "limited incremental" intelligence gathering capabilities, it targeted the United States' "closest allies and partners."
At the White House briefing, Kirby stated, "We estimate at this point that these balloons have contributed limited additive capabilities to the PRC's other intelligence platforms utilised over the United States."
"We are aware that the PRC has sent out surveillance balloons over a number of nations, including several of our partners and allies. We determined that while these balloons currently only offer marginal value to PRC's other intelligence platforms, they may in the future offer greater value "Kirby added.
He also stated that the US is still unsure about the owner of the mysterious objects that were just shot down. The same surveillance balloon programme, according to Kirby, was active under Donald Trump's presidency, although his administration was less successful than the Biden administration at spotting them.
"They were unaware that it was running under the previous administration. We discovered it. We located it, "The US NSC spokeswoman claimed ownership of the spy balloon discovery.
The United States has destroyed three more unidentified flying objects since shooting down the Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on February 4—two of them in US territory and one in Canadian airspace. The three additional items, according to Kirby, were significantly smaller than the Chinese surveillance balloon, and the United States is still unsure of what they could be.
Regarding the Chinese surveillance balloon, Kirby stated, "There is no doubt in our minds that system was designed to surveil, that it was an intelligence asset. "We were certain of what it was. The wind, rather than propulsion or manoeuvring, was really what propelled the other three. Although we can't be certain, they may have involved some form of surveillance.
According to Kirby, the United States was improving its capabilities based on recently acquired intelligence and that the reason for the nation's apparent difficulties in tracking all four objects was due to the nature of how radar is generally utilised.
Even huge objects like the Chinese surveillance balloon, which have a tiny radar cross section and move slowly, are challenging to detect on radar, according to Kirby. Additionally, Kirby forcefully denied Beijing's Monday charge that it had sent more than ten high-altitude balloons over China.
"We are not overflying China with spy balloons. As far as I know, we are the only aircraft flying above Chinese airspace "explained the coordinator for strategic communications at the US NSC.
He supported the choice to shoot down the three most recent objects despite the fact that the government was unaware of what they were because they might have presented a hazard to civilian air traffic as they were flying at an altitude where many planes were flying at the time.
Finding debris to analyse is difficult because of how remote and difficult the locations where they were shot down were; the most recent of them is probably in deep water in Lake Huron.