Following the balloon invasion, the US may target Chinese organisations. According to one official, Washington is certain that the maker of the Chinese surveillance balloon has a close relationship with the People’s Liberation Army.
A US official said on Thursday that the country will consider taking legal action against Chinese organisations connected to the operation, which targeted more than 40 nations across five continents because it is certain that China’s military-sponsored the entry of the surveillance balloon into its airspace.
The enormous balloon was brought down on Saturday by a US fighter jet in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina. It had been circling the continent for many days after entering US airspace near Montana.
The spy balloon, according to the Biden administration, was part of a vast, military-linked aerial surveillance programme that targeted more than 40 countries and was equipped to detect and capture intelligence signals.
Outrage on Chinese Organisations
According to the US, the PLA maintains a fleet of spy balloons outfitted with cutting-edge equipment to collect private information from targets all over the world. According to the administration, identical balloons have flown across five continents.
As stated by a US official who spoke to Reuters, high-resolution photographs of the balloon taken during U-2 aircraft flybys revealed that it was capable of carrying out signal intelligence collection activities.
According to an official, it contains solar panels that can generate enough electricity to operate numerous active intelligence collection sensors. The official also added that it had a number of antennae, including one capable of gathering and geolocating communications.
According to a senior State Department official who spoke to Reuters, the US will look into Chinese organization linked to China’s military that participated in the flight of a Chinese spy balloon.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that Washington would consider taking action. However, the US administration has not specified which actions are being considered.
According to Jean-Pierre, the US will also look into broader attempts to “expose and address” China’s broader monitoring actions, which jeopardise US national security as well as the security of allies and partners.
Congressional Outrage and Chinese Organisations
On Thursday, US intelligence, military, and foreign policy officials began briefing members of Congress on the balloon. The hearings come as his political opponents continue to criticize the Biden administration’s handling of the tragedy.
In an open letter published on Wednesday, Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Roger Wicker indicated that they do not completely understand the government’s response to the balloon.
US Army Lieutenant General Douglas Sims told senators that the risk of Chinese intelligence gathering was low to moderate when the balloon sailed above the US. If it was shot down over land, there was a moderate to the high possibility that civilians on the ground would suffer.
The House of Representatives voted 419 to 0 on Thursday morning to condemn the use of the balloon, labelling it a blatant breach of American sovereignty.
Concerning Chinese organisations, the senior official indicated in the US State Department statement that the balloon manufacturer has a direct working relationship with the Chinese military and is an authorised supplier of the People’s Liberation Army. The statement did not specify what actions Washington was considering.
The company, which the official did not identify, also offers balloon products on its website, which includes videos of previous flights that appear to have crossed international lines.
On Thursday, China claimed to be unaware of any larger fleet of monitoring balloons. According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning, the assertion is likely a component of the information and public opinion warfare the US has engaged in against China.
As per the investigation, China might have intercepted radio, cell phone, and other communications from the military bases it flew over. According to Matthew Kroenig, senior director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council, it is still unknown what kind of intelligence China was attempting to gather on the balloon expedition.
According to Dr. Falco, the balloon’s large solar panels and potential to hover over US airspace for extended periods of time are particularly concerning. Dr. Kroenig believes the US may have deployed countermeasures such as jammer technologies to prevent China from gathering data.
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