It appears that China is at it again with a second Chinese spy balloon, reported to be as big as three buses, causing diplomatic panic in US. In the high-stakes aftermath of the situation, the Pentagon issued a statement that read – “We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon”. The exact location of the balloon has remained a secret, however, various reports have quoted sources claiming that the balloon is heading towards US.
Earlier this week, in a separate incident, another Chinese balloon was spotted above the Rocky Mountain in Colorado. After the balloon was spotted, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cancelled his diplomatic trip to China and said sending the balloon into the US airspace is an “irresponsible act” and a “clear violation of US sovereignty and international law.”
There has been diplomatic frenzy over the act as both the sides claim the balloon’s purpose to be different. Earlier on Friday, China declared that the balloon is a floating orb to be mainly used for “meteorological” purposes. Meanwhile, American intelligence officials have labelled the incident as “high-altitude surveillance balloon” entering its airspace.
US Secretary of State, would have been the first to visit China in six years, cancelled the visit, raising the stakes of the already problematic conflict.
The Facts of the Matter
China has been known to engage in surveillance activities both domestically and abroad. The country has implemented a robust system of monitoring and censorship, known as the Great Firewall of China, to control the flow of information within its borders. In recent years, China has also been accused of using its technological capabilities for surveillance purposes outside of its borders, including over other nations’ territories.
Diplomatic Panic in US Over Chinese Balloon
Recently, their new act of surveillance of US triggered diplomatic panic in US, which saw US Secretary of State, Antony J Blinken, cancelling his trip to US. This was the second such balloon spotting in the last week, causing frenzy and raising the already high stakes between US and China.
Earlier on Thursday afternoon, US media reported that military officials have spotted a Chinese balloon and monitoring it from several days. The military officials confirmed that the balloon was a Chinese-made surveillance object, and was flying over Montana. Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary issued a statement, claiming that the US “continues to track and monitor” the surveillance object.
China Says Balloon Sent For “Meteorological Purposes”
Meanwhile, China dismissed the allegations pertaining to the surveillance, and claimed that the balloon is being used for meteorological purposes. “It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological purposes,” the statement on the ministry’s website read.
Later, on Friday, a second Chinese surveillance balloon was spotted above Latin America. Pentagon reported that the balloon is transiting Latin America, and it has been assessed as “another Chinese surveillance balloon.”
Balloon as Big as 3 Buses
The balloon has been reported to be as large as three-buses. The “sizeable” understanding of the spy balloon was reported after the US military sent two F-22 jets in the sky to ascertain the size of the balloon.
Why US Is Not Shooting Down China Spy Balloon?
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden is facing the heat over not having the spy balloon shot down in the air. As per a NYT report, the top generals of the US President have opined that military force should not be used to shoot the balloon down as the debris from it could harm locals on the ground.
Meanwhile, outspoken ex-US President Donald Trump took to his website and wrote – SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON”.