US claims downed balloon was part of China’s ‘major surveillance program’

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After the rescue in the Atlantic Ocean, the remains of the device are in the hands of US intelligence, which believes that Japan, India, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines have also been spied on.

The United States claims that the balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday is, just as the Pentagon thought, a spy balloon. The rescue of the remains from the waters of the Atlantic has made it possible to reveal, according to White House sources, that the device belonged to the People’s Liberation Army and had probably been operating for several years within a “major surveillance program” developed by the Asian giant. .

US intelligence concludes that “what the Chinese have done is take incredibly old technology and basically combine it with modern communications and surveillance capabilities,” government sources have told the Washington Post. Through this system, Beijing would have controlled areas of military or strategic importance in Japan, India, Vietnam, Taiwan or the Philippines. The US government has begun contacting allied countries to inform them of their discoveries. Two days ago, before the military could reach the downed probe, Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with 150 officials from 40 embassies to brief them on how China is allegedly spying using aerostats.

The Pentagon believes the Chinese military has a center for launching these balloons at a base on Hainan Island, off the country’s southern coast. This base came to prominence in 2001 when a US spy plane and a Chinese military fighter collided in mid-air, sparking one of the most serious incidents between the two powers in decades. The fighter crashed into the sea, killing the pilot, while the US plane, an advanced electronic surveillance machine piloted by 24 crew members, was forced to land in Hainan. After multiple diplomatic negotiations, the White House – then headed by President Bush – succeeded in getting Beijing to release all crew members, avoiding prosecution for espionage. What the president failed to do was get a delegation of Asian experts to examine his advanced EP-3 Aries II, a naval reconnaissance aircraft capable of mapping vast territorial areas and providing highly detailed information.

Xi Jinping’s government has not commented on US military information about his aerostat. For the past few hours, he has maintained his original version that the device that flew over Alaska, Canada and up to 3,000 kilometers of US territory before the Pentagon shot it down with a missile was actually a meteorological probe. Beijing accuses Washington of vandalizing its property and has claimed the remains of the capsule.

Source: La Verdad

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