Chinese Balloon Spotted Over US Territory And Increases Tensions With China

Written By: Ava Osorio, Yana Patel

Early February, a spy balloon from China was spotted floating across the United States, causing major concern on Capitol Hill.  As a result, tensions have increased between the United States and China. 

United States officials have repeatedly stated that the Chinese balloon was designed for spying, according to the wreckage of the balloon. Through examining the wreckage, the US Government was able to understand that this was probably from a wider surveillance program that has been going on throughout multiple continents. The balloon also had equipment that allowed it to pick up on communication signals and other information through multiple antennas, and was capable of collecting information on land through geo-locating communications.  However, China has maintained their statement that it was a weather balloon that veered off course. 

The balloon entered U.S. airspace through Alaska on January 28 and then began heading to the east coast starting February 2nd before being shot down by a U.S. fighter jet off the coast of South Carolina on February 4th. U.S. officials have consistently said that the reason behind the delay in taking down the balloon is because they wanted to wait until the balloon went over water, to minimize threat.  The balloon was recovered on February 5th by the US Navy and the FBI in order to begin assessing the threat. 

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