The Pentagon has stated, months after the event that soured Sino-U.S. relations, that the putative Chinese spy balloon that the U.S. shot down earlier this year did not gather intelligence as it was traveling over the United States.
According to Pentagon Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, U.S. Defense Department, “We were conscious that it has intelligence collection abilities, but it had been our conclusion presently that it did not gather information while it was crossing the United States.”
According to media reports earlier this week, an initial examination of the balloon by U.S. authorities revealed that it contained a combination of American off-the-shelf equipment and sophisticated Chinese equipment that allowed it to take photos, videos, and other types of data, refuting Chinese claims that it was a spy balloon.
Pentagon Confirms Its Theory
He stated that the US was ” cognizant that (the balloon) had capabilities for intelligence collection.” He did, however, add that it has now been determined that no information was gathered.
As of right now, “it has been our assessment that it failed to gather [information] while the aircraft was crossing the United States or overflying the United States.” According to Gen. Ryder, US efforts to block intelligence collection “contributed” to the balloon’s inability to collect crucial information.
According to the BBC, the Pentagon General declined to corroborate claims that the balloon had machinery built in America. According to previously released new photographs, the Chinese spy balloon spent almost a week flying above the United States and Canada in February before it was brought down by a fighter jet off the coast of the Atlantic on President Joe Biden’s instructions.
Then, from the sea, sensors from the balloon were retrieved. There were suspicions that Beijing might have wanted to spy on US military installations when the balloon sailed over them. Chinese officials, on the other hand, insisted that it was a civilian weather balloon and charged the US with acting excessively by shooting it down. The trip was postponed, though, and it happened earlier this month.