Government officials tracking suspected Chinese spy balloon over U.S.
The federal government is tracking a suspected Chinese spy balloon that authorities say has been making its way over the northern part of the continental United States.
According to CNN, a senior defense official has advised President Biden not to shoot the balloon down because the debris could be detrimental to people on the ground.
Although an ostensible threat, a senior defense official told CNN that the spy balloon adds little value to China’s known espionage tactics, which already include low-orbit spy satellites.
“It does not create significant value added over and above what the People’s Republic of China is likely able to collect through things like satellites in low Earth orbit,” the senior defense official said.
The balloon’s presence in the U.S. over the last several days comes at a sensitive time because Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to travel to Beijing in the coming days, in a follow up trip to President Biden’s meeting with China’s president, Xi Jinping, last year.