It’s no secret that the US and China are in a bit of a feud, and the latest development is no exception. On Thursday, a massive Chinese spy balloon was seen flying over Montana, and the US government is now tracking it as it travels across the country. President Joe Biden and his team have decided against any military action due to the risk it would pose to civilians. So what does this mean for the US, and what is the purpose of this balloon? Read on for a summary of this intriguing development.
The balloon is the size of three buses and is equipped with a technology bay. US officials are confident it was sent from China, and the purpose of the balloon remains unclear. However, one expert believes it was simply a research vessel, which would mean it was unpowered and drifted with the jet stream.
The US government detected and is now tracking the balloon, with the North American Aerospace Defense Command keeping a close eye on it. President Biden was briefed on the balloon and asked for military options, but ultimately agreed with the recommendation of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and US Northern Command to not take any kinetic action due to the risk it would pose to civilians.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that there was a ground stop in Billings, Montana, on Wednesday, but an agency spokesperson did not share any further details. Military expert Steve Ganyard predicts the balloon is an experiment gone awry, and that it would have drifted over from China after multiple days, rather than being nefariously deployed.
So what does this all mean for the US? While the balloon’s purpose remains unclear, it’s clear that the US government is taking the necessary precautions to protect against any foreign intelligence collection of sensitive information. It’s an intriguing development that is sure to have many people speculating about the purpose of the balloon, and what it could mean for US-China relations.