The Daily Telegraph
Chinese spy balloon picked up and scoured for intelligence
THE US has retrieved parts of the Chinese spy balloon it shot down off South Carolina, as it emerged that another balloon entered US airspace while Joe Biden was president.
John Kirby, a National Security Council spokesman, said US personnel “have recovered some remnants off the surface of the sea”, although weather conditions had not permitted much undersea surveillance of the debris field.
Measures were taken to ensure the balloon’s instruments were “mitigated” in their ability to spy during the flyover, while “at the same time increasing and improving our ability to collect intelligence and information from it”, Mr Kirby added.
US officials have admitted that at least one other Chinese spy balloon entered US airspace at the start of Mr Biden’s presidency.
Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said “we were able to look at the historical patterns” and uncover “multiple instances” during the Trump administration in which Chinese surveillance balloons traversed American airspace and territory.
A US air force intelligence report reviewed by CNN found that a Chinese spy balloon “drifted past Hawaii and across Florida” as it “circumnavigated the globe” in 2019.
Some Republicans have questioned why the balloon, which entered US airspace on Jan 28, was not shot down before it was allowed to travel across the US. Mr Biden asked for military options last Wednesday, but Pentagon officials had said the risks were too great to shoot it down over land.