The Wall Street Journal exclusively reported that a Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States at the beginning of this year caused a diplomatic crisis between the two countries and used American-made spy equipment.
A U.S. investigation into the incident revealed that the balloon, in addition to commercially available U.S. gear, was equipped with special Chinese sensors to collect photos and other data during an eight-day flight to U.S. states and some information. Canadian government departments, WSJ said.
Preliminary conclusions were drawn after examining the wreckage found on February 4 off the coast of South Carolina by US troops. Research shows that the craft collects photos and videos, but does not appear to transmit them. Back to China.
The findings support the conclusion that the craft is intended for spying, which China says is for weather monitoring.
According to the report, US officials are tracking purchase orders for some of the equipment found on the balloon to investigate the relationship between the purchases and the Chinese government.
Bloomberg reported that China’s foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment. Reuters also reported that both the White House and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have yet to respond to requests for comment.
The development follows US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s recent visit to Beijing, the most high-profile visit by an American official to China in five years as the two countries try to mend ties.
(with inputs from agencies)