Chinese Spy Balloon Spotted Again In US Over Nuclear Launch Site
A Chinese Spy Balloon is spotted again over a nuclear launch site. However the US has decided not to shoot it down as its debris can put people at risk.
The Pentagon chose not to shoot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that was seen in US skies because it might hurt civilians on the ground.
The Chinese surveillance balloon flying in the air has strained US-China relations even more.
According to a senior defense official, the Pentagon is certain that the Chinese balloon was over “critical installations” gathering data.
According to the AP, the balloon was observed in Montana, which is home to Malmstrom Air Force Base, one of the country’s three nuclear missile launch centers.
An object that “now is traveling at an altitude considerably above commercial air traffic and does not offer a military or sensory threat to people on the ground” is being tracked by the authorities.
Similar spy balloons have been seen before, according to the Pentagon, and the US has taken precautions to make sure it didn’t capture important data.
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to visit Beijing for the first time this weekend to try and find some common ground when the “spy” balloon saga broke.
Beijing and Washington have been discussing his impending presence despite the fact that the trip has not yet been officially published.
It wasn’t immediately obvious whether Blinken’s trip plans would be affected by the balloon’s finding.
The US did prepare fighter jets, including F-22s, to fire down the balloon, but the Pentagon advised against it because of the balloon’s size, which would have created a significant enough debris field to endanger people in Montana.
There was no information available regarding the military’s efforts to stop it from gathering crucial data or what would happen to the balloon if it wasn’t shot down.