Has China targeted countries including India with spy balloons? Report says…
Chinese Spy Balloons: The report said that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman briefed officials from about 40 embassies about the downing of the balloon.
China has operated spy balloons targeting several countries including India and Japan, a report claimed just days after the US military fighter jet shot down a Chinese surveillance craft floating over sensitive installations in the country. The Pentagon also released a series of pictures recovering the high-altitude surveillance balloon.
Watch: Chinese 'Spy Balloon' targets India; Beijing operating fleet of 'snooping' airships | Report
“The surveillance balloon effort, which has operated for several years partly out of Hainan province off China’s south coast, has collected information on military assets in countries and areas of emerging strategic interest to China including Japan, India, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines,” The Washington Post reported.
The report said that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman briefed officials from about 40 embassies about the downing of the balloon, citing interviews with several anonymous defence and intelligence officials.
Officials said that these surveillance balloons have been operated in part by the PLA (People's Liberation Army) air force and have been spotted over five continents, the report said.
“These balloons are all part of a PRC ( People's Republic of China) fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations, which also violated the sovereignty of other countries,” the report quoted a senior defence official as saying.
At least four balloons have been spotted over Hawaii, Florida, Texas and Guam, in addition to the one tracked last week, the report said adding that three of the four instances took place during the Donald Trump administration but were only recently identified as Chinese surveillance airships.