BREAKING: Chinese spy balloon over the US is being tracked by Pentagon
The US is tracking a suspected Chinese balloon believe to be spying over sensitive areas in the US over the past few days. Defence officials said they were confident the "high-altitude surveillance balloon" belonged to China. It was most recently seen above the western state of Montana.
The Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said that “Instances of this activity have been observed over the past several years, including prior to this administration.”
Top military leaders, including Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, met on Wednesday to assess the threat. Mr Austin was travelling in the Philippines at the time. The defence official, however, said there was no "significantly enhanced threat" of US intelligence being compromised because American officials "know exactly where this balloon is and exactly where it's passing over”.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, slammed China's alleged balloon. "The level of espionage aimed at our country by Beijing has grown dramatically more intense & brazen over the last 5 years," he tweeted.
President Biden has declared China “America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge” and competition between the two global superpowers is intense.