A second Chinese reconnaissance balloon is now crossing Latin America, the Pentagon confirmed late on February 3. Concerns are growing about a Chinese surveillance balloon hovering east over the mainland United States.
“We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We are now determining that it is another Chinese surveillance balloon,” Pentagon spokesman Brig said. General Patrick Ryder said in a statement to his press agency:
The comments came after Ryder pressured in Friday’s statement that Defense Canada was monitoring a “potential second incident” and in a briefing with reporters about whether the United States was doing the same. In response, Ryder sent the question back to Canadian authorities.
The first Chinese balloon, described by military officials as a “high-altitude surveillance balloon,” appeared earlier this week over Montana, home to one of the country’s three nuclear missile silo fields.
On Friday, Secretary of State Anthony Brinken postponed what would be the most high-profile U.S. visit to China in a balloon, calling it “irresponsible” and a “disruption to U.S. sovereignty and international law.” It is a clear violation of
“[China’s] The decision to take this action on the eve of my scheduled visit is detrimental to the substantive discussions we were preparing,” he told reporters.
The Pentagon has confirmed the balloon’s exact location, size and other details, noting that it is steerable, that it changed course at some point, and that it is currently flying east over the country at 60,000 feet. Except that I didn’t check. .
President Joe Biden was first briefed on the issue on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said Jan. 3. harm civilians.
The senior defense official said the United States had unspecified mitigation measures on the balloon, adding that the device was assessed as having “limited additional value beyond that from an intelligence-gathering perspective.” rice field. [China] You can do it by other means. ”
The Chinese government claims the balloons flying over the United States are Chinese civilian weather balloons that have been flown off course. In response, Ryder said, “The fact is, we know it’s a surveillance balloon.”
Costa Rica report
Ryder did not specify which country the balloon is currently flying over, but local reports say a white balloon of mysterious origin has been sighted over Costa Rica.
“My big concern with China’s balloon flight is whether this is a test to see how fast we react and what we do,” said the stratospheric balloon launch and research service. said Art Thompson, CEO of California-based company Sage Cheshire Aerospace. Epoch Times.
The two balloons appeared to have been launched from different locations, he said. Photographs of two of his balloons examined by Thomson over the United States and Costa Rica show that the styles of the balloons are very similar.
“Looking at the trajectory, the question is where did it launch from? And it could have been launched from mainland China, and then drifted and would have vibrated a bit in flight,” he said.
Thompson advocated that the US shoot down balloons traveling eastward over the country with laser weapons. He believes there are still days for U.S. officials to take action before the balloon reaches international waters, but a flight over Costa Rica would be on a much shorter timeline.
“In Costa Rica, they rush into the Gulf pretty quickly, so you’ll lose contact pretty quickly,” he said.
“The Chinese are definitely testing us and are preparing something.”