According to officials, the Pentagon decided against shooting down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon because there was a danger of injury to people on the ground. The United States is monitoring the balloon, which has been noticed over American airspace for a few days. At a time when tensions are already high, the discovery of the balloon strains U.S.-China relations even more.
According to a senior defence official, the United States has “extremely high assurance” that the object was a Chinese high-altitude balloon that was floating over key locations to conduct surveillance. One of the states where the balloon was noticed was Montana, which is home to Malmstrom Air Force Base, one of the country’s three nuclear missile bunker fields. To discuss confidential material, the official talked about anonymity.
The government is still monitoring the balloon, according to a brief statement from Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary. It He said it does not pose a military or physical threat to persons on the land since it is “presently travelling at an altitude much above civilian air traffic.”
However, the U.S. has determined that the balloon’s utility in regards to giving China knowledge it couldn’t previously obtain by other means, such as satellite technology, is “restricted.” The military spokesman claimed that the spy balloon was attempting to fly above the Montana nuclear fields.
According to a declaration from the Republican governor and spokesman, Brooke Stroyke, Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana said he was informed on the matter on Wednesday after the “Montana National Guard” was informed of a military action that was in progress in Montana airspace.
Concerns about China are especially strong on a number of issues, from Taiwan and the South China Sea to the crackdown on democracy campaigners in Hong Kong and the western area of China known as Xinjiang. China’s covert assistance for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its failure to constrain North Korea’s burgeoning ballistic missile programme, and continuous trade and technology disputes are just a few of the irritating people.
In reaction to neighbouring activities by 34 Chinese military planes and nine warships, which are part of Beijing’s effort to terrify and threaten the self-governing island democracy, Taiwan deployed fighters, put its army on alert, and activated ballistic missiles on Tuesday.
Beijing has also intensified its plans for a possible blockade or military strike against Taiwan, which has caused growing alarm among military chiefs, diplomats, and elected officials in the U.S., Taiwan’s main supporter.
There is no certainty as to whether the balloon that some Montanans report having seen in the clouds around Wednesday’s airport closure existed.