The United States said it had recovered key sensors from a suspected downed Chinese spy balloon as tensions between the two countries escalated.
A Chinese balloon that Beijing denies is a government spy ship flew over the United States and Canada for a week before President Joe Biden ordered it shot down. south carolina coast.
“Crews have been able to recover a significant amount of debris from the site, including all identified priority sensors and electronic components and a large portion of the structure,” the U.S. military’s Northern Command said in a statement.
After the February 4 balloon crash, three more unidentified objects were shot down over North American airspace.
The U.S. acknowledges that much remains unknown about the newest unmanned objects, including how they stay aloft, who built them and whether they may have been gathering intelligence.
White House says it has determined China has a “High Altitude Balloon Project” For intelligence gathering.
The United States had been tracking the balloon as it lifted off from the southern Chinese island of Hainan in late January, The New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, the newspaper said what appeared to be Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloons flew close to sensitive U.S. military bases in the Middle East last year, but far enough offshore that they were not considered a threat.
The Japanese government has reportedly determined that an object that flew over waters off the southwestern Kyushu region in January 2022 was likely a Chinese spy balloon.
The U.S. has yet to recover any debris from three recently shot down objects, one of which fell off the coast of Alaska in snow and ice.
An object was shot down in the Yukon Territory, Canada.
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was some connection between the four aerial objects, but did not elaborate.
He said: “Obviously there’s some pattern there, and the fact that we’ve largely seen that over the past week has sparked interest and intense scrutiny.
China says U.S. high-altitude balloon flew over Chinese airspace More than 10 times in the past year – a claim Washington has rejected.
What we know so far about flying objects:
• On February 4, the first object described by US officials as a suspected Chinese “spy” balloon was shot down off the coast of the Carolinas;
• On February 10, NORAD spotted and shot down a second object described as “about the size of a small car” near Alaska;
• Just one day later, on February 11, a third object was tracked, also unidentified, into US airspace over Alaska before drifting over Canada where it was shot down;
• On Sunday, US officials confirmed that fighter jets shot down another unidentified object over Lake Huron, near the US-Canada border near Michigan.
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• A US F-16 jet fired a missile at the nearest object at an altitude of approximately 20,000 feet due to concerns that its altitude and flight path could endanger civilian aircraft;
• A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the latest object as having an “octagonal structure with dangling ropes but no discernible payload”;
• Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said teams were looking for objects shot down over his country.