As tensions between the United States and China continue to escalate, the Biden administration is considering a plan to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon that has been moving across the continental United States. The balloon, which was first spotted over Montana on Wednesday, has been identified as a surveillance device, and the U.S. government believes that it violates international law and its sovereignty.
The Associated Press reported that the Biden administration is weighing a plan to shoot the balloon down once it moves over the Atlantic Ocean, and then recover the remnants of the balloon. The administration has so far chosen not to shoot the balloon down while it has traveled over the U.S. out of fears that debris could harm people on the ground.
In addition to the balloon that has been seen moving over the continental U.S., the Pentagon confirmed that a second Chinese “surveillance balloon” was seen over Latin America on Friday. In order to protect U.S. citizens and interests, officials have reportedly been working to block the balloon’s view and move objects out of its path.
President Biden said after arriving at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in New York on Saturday that the administration would handle the situation. “We’re gonna take care of it,” he said as he got into a vehicle.
The Biden administration is now tasked with making a difficult decision: shoot down the Chinese spy balloon, or find a way to protect U.S. citizens without putting them in harm’s way. It remains to be seen what the administration will decide, but it is clear that the stakes are high.