The Chinese Spy Balloon Incident

The Chinese Spy Balloon Incident

Christina Ayoub, Staff Writer

The first piece of information released about this “spy” balloon was released on January 28, 2023. According to NPR, China originally accused the U.S. of using a surveillance camera inside Chinese airspace more than 10 times. The relationship between China and the U.S. after they shot down one of their balloons on February 4th. 

The Chinese people claimed that it drifted its way to the U.S. while undergoing the duties of a weather balloon. When a Chinese spokesperson shared what they felt about the U.S. having China under surveillance he said, “that this was common for U.S. balloons to illegally enter other countries’ airspace” (NPR). The U.S. was then warned of the possible consequences that confrontation can bring. 

China was also accused of violating both the U.S. and 40 other countries spread along 5 different continents. After these accusations, China once again stated that any balloons that were seen were only serving the purpose of weather balloons. 

Also according to NPR, ever since Friday, undisclosed objects that were found floating above the U.S. and Canada were also shot down, and brought to halt.

“A high altitude balloon floats over Billings, Mont., on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace for a couple days, but the Pentagon decided not to shoot it down due to risks of harm for people on the ground, officials said Thursday. (Larry Mayer/The Billings Gazette via AP) (Chris Jorgensen)”

According to New Scientist, the balloon was designed as a spy balloon to end further speculations. A spy balloon is used as only a part of a much larger and more involved surveillance program that is expanding to other areas aside from just the U.S. including several other continents. 

Many people have asked why the Chinese let out this balloon, to begin with. The New York Times has stated that the balloon was meant to “pinpoint the locations of certain communication devices” and also. This balloon also had the ability to interpret and intercept the calls that were being made on said devices.