US military says it is searching for remnants of Chinese spy balloon

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WASHINGTON — The US military said on Sunday (Feb 5) it is searching for remnants of the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon it shot down the previous day, in a dramatic spy saga that has further strained American-Chinese relations. The US Navy is working to recover the balloon and its payload and the Coast Guard is providing security for the operation,...

A jet flies by a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floats off the coast in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, US, Feb 4, 2023.WASHINGTON — The US military said on Sunday it is searching for remnants of the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon it shot down the previous day, in a dramatic spy saga that has further strained American-Chinese relations.

A US Air Force fighter jet on Saturday shot down the balloon off the coast of South Carolina, a week after it first entered US airspace near Alaska. VanHerck said the incident took place over US territorial waters. Former President Donald Trump and his former national intelligence director, John Ratcliffe, denied Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin's assessment that similar balloons had transited the United States during his presidency.

He said balloons had been spotted near Texas and twice near Florida, as well as previously known sightings near Hawaii and Guam. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed the Republican criticism as "premature and political."

 

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