Chinese Spy Balloons spotted over several countries, including India.
The Chinese Spy Balloon which was shot down by the US military on Saturday has been spotted in skies above countries across five continents, say US officials.
Although China admitted the Spy Balloon was theirs but they claimed it was for "civilian usage" and used for flight tests and the second balloon which was spotted in Latin America, it accidentally entered the place citing the aircraft's "limited maneuverability" and the weather conditions.
However, US officials say they believe the balloon that was detected floating over the U.S. was a Spy Balloon and China's intent to use it is for monitoring sensitive military sites.
U.S. officials have further briefed its friends and allies including India on the "Surveillance balloon".
On Monday, Deputy Secretary of the States, Wendy Sherman briefed officials from about 40 embassies about the Sky Balloon.
“The surveillance balloon effort, which has operated for several years partly out of Hainan province off China’s south coast, has collected information on military assets in countries and areas of emerging strategic interest to China including Japan, India, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines,” reported The Washington Post.
The report was based on interviews with several anonymous defence and intelligence officials.
While the daily reported that officials have said these surveillance airships, operated in part by the PLA (People's Liberation Army) air force, have been spotted over five continents.
“These balloons are all part of a PRC (People's Republic of China) fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations, which also violated the sovereignty of other countries,” a senior defence official was quoted as saying.
The daily also reported that in recent years, at least four balloons have been spotted over Hawaii, Florida, Texas and Guam.
Three of the four instances took place during the Trump administration but were only recently identified as Chinese surveillance airships, it said.
Meanwhile, the recovery of the wreckage of the balloon is still on by US navy and coast guards, pictures of the same were released by the Pentagon on Tuesday.
described the balloon as being roughly 60m (200ft) tall and most likely
weighing 71st (1,000lbs).
This incident has further led to the cancellation of US secretary Antony Blinken's most anticipated visit to China which was supposed to be the first of its kind since 2018.
It had also sparked a diplomatic crisis between the two places.
Source- Sky News, The Hindu.
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