The U.S. President defended his decision to shoot down a Chinese balloon after it crossed most of the U.S., saying the device provided crucial intelligence.
Despite Beijing’s claims that the Balloon was an errant weather observation aircraft without any military intent, Washington describes it as a sophisticated high-altitude eavesdropping device. On Saturday, a U.S. fighter jet shot down the Balloon in the Atlantic Ocean near the East Coast, and now navy and coast guard troops are retrieving the wreckage to analyze for intelligence purposes.
Biden told reporters that once it came over to the United States from Canada, he informed the Defense Department that he wanted it shot down as soon as possible. They decided that shooting it down over land would be a bad idea. According to Biden, the Defense Department felt they could safely wait until it crossed the sea because it posed no immediate danger.
According to National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, American soldiers had collected some pieces off the surface of the sea. Still, that bad weather has prevented extensive underwater observation of the debris field. Kirby stated that the search had just begun, but in the coming days, they will be able to get down there and have a better look at what was on the bottom of the ocean.
During the flyover, precautions were made to reduce the balloon’s spying potential. Kirby stated that Defense Department was boosting and expanding its capacity to gather intelligence and information from it from the device as it passed by.
According to recent statements, the data received before the balloon was destroyed is being analyzed. Kirby expects that more information will be found once the U.S. takes possession of all the debris.
Despite efforts to improve relations with China, President Biden claims he was unsurprised by the balloon incident. Adding that China would try to spy on the United States via a balloon. According to Biden, it’s not a matter of whether or not to trust China; rather, it’s about figuring out where the two countries can cooperate and where they will remain at odds.
The Balloon made a long journey through the heart of the United States, passing over many top-secret military locations before heading out over the east coast, where it was eventually brought down.
The United States Northern Command director, General Glen VanHerck, told reporters that a navy ship is now charting the debris field in the Atlantic, which is projected to span around 1,500 by 1,500 meters (yards).
He estimated that the Balloon’s height was up to 200 feet (60 meters) and that its cargo was several thousand pounds and around the size of a regional jet aircraft.
China has asked for their Balloon back. Kirby claims that returning it to China is not an option. He says he has no such intention or plans to return it. According to VanHerck, the bits of the Balloon that fell to the ground will be analyzed thoroughly, adding that the intel community and the law enforcement community dealing with counterintelligence will examine every scrap thoroughly.
Kirby revealed what was already known: that the balloon was not aimlessly floating but rather was equipped with propellers and steering to allow for some degree of control even while it was being carried along by high-altitude jet stream winds. Kirby stated that the balloon could change its speed, direction, and altitude. So it has propellers and a rudder to steer in different directions, making it difficult to blow off course to such a degree.
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