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US admits Chinese balloon may have inadvertently drifted into American airspace


Nov 9, 2021

Spy balloon – live: Biden to address nation on downed aerial ‘objects’​

Alex Woodward and Shweta Sharma
Wed, February 15, 2023 at 8:04 p.m. PST·55 min read

Joe Biden is expected to deliver his most in-depth public remarks early on Thursday over the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that entered US airspace, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The US president will use his address to explain how his administration is tackling the issue of aerial balloons and other unidentified objections and the future strategy, NBC news reported today.

His speech is expected to answer swirling questions over the shooting down of aerial objects by the US military as federal investigators salvage and analyse the wreckage.

US agencies tracked a Chinese balloon for several days after it launched from Hainan Island near China’s south coast, though intelligence officials are reportedly considering the possibility that strong air currents may have inadvertently pulled the balloon off its planned course to send it over mainland America.

At least three objects were shot down by American fighter jets in recent days which were likely used for commercial or other “benign” purposes, officials have said.

The Chinese authorities, meanwhile, have continued to deny the balloon was being used for surveillance and suggested they will take “countermeasures”.

Key points

  • Balloon may have mistakenly – at least partially – entered American heartland
  • China suggests taking ‘countermeasures’ against US
  • White House says three unidentified objects believed to be ‘benign’
  • US military says it has recovered ‘significant’ electronics from downed Chinese ‘spy’ balloon
  • US military takes down fourth object in a month – this time above Lake Huron


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