As of: 04/03/2023 9:44 p.m
A balloon shot down over the United States in early February is said to have collected information about military locations, according to the media. He is also said to have been able to send them to China.
The Chinese Observation Balloon Shot down by the US over the Atlantic in early February according to US media reports, is said to have collected information about several American military locations.
The balloon also reportedly transmitted real-time information to Beijing, broadcasters CNN and NBC News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Such a transmission cannot be confirmed, a Pentagon spokeswoman said. The analysis on this is not yet complete.
China denies allegations
In early February, the US military shot down the balloon after days of flying over the United States. The United States accused China of espionage, Beijing rejected this: it was an unmanned civilian weather balloon that accidentally went off course, it said.
Washington said at the time that the US took immediate steps during the flyover to prevent the balloon from collecting sensitive information and reduce its intelligence value for China.
China was able to maneuver the balloon to fly over some of the sites multiple times, NBC News reported, citing senior government officials. Much more information could have been gathered from sensitive locations had the US government not restricted the balloon’s capability. In principle, their usefulness is limited compared to information that China can collect with low-Earth satellites.
According to NBC, the balloon was equipped with a self-destruct mechanism that could be remotely controlled by China. It is not clear whether this failed or was deliberately not triggered.