A suspected Chinese spy balloon is currently flying over the U.S., and Pentagon officials suspect it is being used to collect information from sensitive sites.
President Joe Biden has refused to answer questions about the surveillance balloon over Montana, which flight path shows its glided over several sensitive military sites, including Malmstrom Air Force Base which houses 150 nuclear warheads.
Several Republican lawmakers, echoed Former President Donald Trump in saying, “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!”
Montana GOP Congressman Ryan Zinke shared on social media, “Shoot. It. Down. The Chinese spy balloon is clear provocation. In Montana we do not bow. We shoot it down. Take the shot.”
According to Pentagon officials, they decided to not shoot the balloon down due to concerns the debris could injure people on the ground.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson claims the balloon is an unmanned, meteorological research ship “used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes.
“The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace due to force majeure,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said.
Earlier today the Pentagon rejected China’s claim the balloon is “a civilian airship used for research,” and is aware it is a Chinese surveillance balloon and has “violated U.S. air space and international law.”
“However, the fact is, we know that it’s a surveillance balloon. And I’m not going to be able to be more specific than that,” Department of Defense spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said. “We do know that the balloon has violated US air space and international law, which is unacceptable. And so we’ve conveyed this directly to the PRC at multiple levels.”
Ryder said instances like this kind of balloon activity has been monitored over the past several years.
“The past number of times it did not loiter over the continental United States for an extended period of time. It’s different,” Ryder said.
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