said a Pentagon spokesperson foreign media about the unusual situation. The US Department of Defense said it was convinced it was a Chinese spying balloon.
Biden wanted to intervene militarily
US President Joe Biden has been informed and is said to have requested military intervention. Fighter jets were reportedly ready to launch the potential balloon from the air, but this has yet to be decided.
Anonymous sources say that the risk of debris falling to the ground is too great foreign media.
The US Department of Defense does not want to say exactly where the airship is, but Flightradar shows that US fighter jets are flying over the northwestern US state of Montana.
The US military nuclear missile launch bases are located in that region. A Pentagon spokesman said the balloon would fly over “sensitive sites”.
According to the US military, there is no danger to the population and commercial aviation is not in danger either because the airship is at a “very high altitude”. However, Billings Logan Airport was closed yesterday, and part of the airspace was also closed.
Local media shared the following photos of the balloon hovering over Montana:
A Pentagon spokesman said that such spy balloons have been spotted over US soil in recent years. In principle, they do not pose a great danger, because such a balloon does not necessarily provide more intelligence than satellites.
So what is the advantage of such a balloon for the Chinese is the question. The US government took immediate action to prevent the collection of sensitive information.
with air currents
The balloon had first flown over Alaska and Canada. It is unclear where the balloon departed from. Watchman He writes that such balloons are difficult to see on radar and can be “controlled” remotely by changing altitude and moving with air currents.
This hot air balloon is not only equipped with spy equipment, but bombs can also be hung under it during conflicts.
A visit to China is precarious
China has already responded. In a press conference, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called for not speculating until the facts are clear. “We hope that both sides will handle the matter calmly and cautiously,” a ministry spokesman said.
“The timing is fantastic,” says reporter Eric Motan. Especially since US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is scheduled to visit the Chinese capital, Beijing, in a few days. There he will also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. It is not clear if the Chinese hot air balloon discovered over the United States changes anything about these plans.
“Relations between China and the United States are already tense, also because Biden refers to China as a undemocratic country that is trying to impose its opinion on neighboring countries,” Muthan explains.
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