Chinese spy balloon: US tracks suspected surveillance device

February 3, 2023 — BBC.com reports: “The US is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted flying over sensitive sites in recent days.

Defence officials said they were confident the ‘high-altitude surveillance balloon’ belonged to China. It was most recently seen above the western state of Montana.

The military decided against shooting it down in case debris falls.

China warned against speculation and ‘hype’ until the facts are verified.

The object flew over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and through Canada before appearing over the city of Billings in Montana on Wednesday, US officials said.

A senior defence official said the government prepared fighter jets, including F-22s, in case the White House ordered the object to be shot down…”  (A March 19, 2021 article in The New York TimesTense Talks With China Left U.S. ‘Cleareyed’ About Beijing’s Intentions, Officials Say https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/19/world/asia/china-us-alaska.html states: “Just as Washington’s views on China have shifted after years of encouraging the country’s economic integration, so have Beijing’s perceptions of the United States and the privileged place in the world that it has long held. The Americans, in their view, no longer have an overwhelming reservoir of global influence, nor the power to wield it against China.

That has made China more confident in pursuing its aims openly and unabashedly — from human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang to territorial disputes with India and Japan and others in the South China Sea to, most contentiously of all, the fate of Taiwan, the self-governing democracy that China claims as its own.

While China still faces enormous challenges at home and around the world, its leaders now act as if history is on their side.”  See the next report.)

Beijing says balloon shot down ‘damaged’ relations

February 6, 2023 — SpaceWar.com reports: “A US decision to shoot down a Chinese balloon that Beijing claimed had veered off course has ‘seriously impacted and damaged’ relations between the two countries, China’s foreign ministry said Monday.

The aircraft, which Washington said was a spy balloon, had spent several days flying over North America, leading the United States to call off a planned visit to Beijing by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Washington on Saturday said a fighter jet had shot it down off the coast of South Carolina, because of what it called Beijing’s ‘unacceptable violation’ of American sovereignty.

Beijing protested the move, claiming the balloon was a civilian aircraft that was blown off course, and on Sunday lodged an official complaint with the US embassy in China.

‘The United States’ actions have seriously impacted and damaged both sides’ efforts and progress in stabilising Sino-US relations since the Bali meeting,’ vice foreign minister Xie Feng said in the complaint, according to a foreign ministry statement.

He was referring to a summit between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in November…”

Beijing says second balloon flying over Latin America is Chinese

February 6, 2023 — SpaceDaily.com reports: “Beijing confirmed on Monday a balloon spotted flying over Latin America is Chinese, while the United States worked to recover what it claimed was an unmanned spy craft it shot down at the weekend.

China has expressed fury at Washington’s decision to shoot down a device that it insists was an unmanned weather surveillance aircraft that had veered off course last week.

That balloon sparked outrage in the United States, which accused China of an ‘unacceptable violation’ of its sovereignty and prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to call off a planned trip to Beijing.

Beijing acknowledged on Monday that the latest balloon, spotted by US and Colombian officials flying over Latin America at the weekend, was also Chinese.

Its foreign ministry said the device was of ‘a civilian nature and used for flight tests’…”  (China will become a basic partner with Russia for the rapidly approaching battle of Armageddon – Revelation 16:16. Russia will lead invasion number one – Ezekiel 38 & 39. China will lead invasion number two – Revelation 16:12; Revelation 9:14 – 16. Then all nations will come against Jerusalem for the final invasion at which point Jesus will return to stop the bloodshed and set up his eternal kingdom upon earth – [He gathers] all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken… Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south – Zechariah 14:2 – 4. Then Psalm 2:6 occurs as God the Father says: …I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion [Jerusalem].  See the next four reports)

US says China balloon ‘fleet’ is global as NATO joins concern

February 9, 2023 — SpaceWar.com reports: “The United States said Wednesday that suspected Chinese spy balloons like the one it shot down were part of a ‘fleet’ that has spanned five continents, as NATO joined in voicing concern.

Pointing to global ramifications of the incident that has animated the United States, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was giving data to allies as it assesses the recovered debris.

‘We already shared information with dozens of countries around the world, both from Washington and through our embassies,’ Blinken said.

‘We’re doing so because the United States was not the only target of this broader program, which has violated the sovereignty of countries across five continents,’ he told a joint news conference with NATO’s visiting chief…”

Biden warns US will act on China after balloon downing

February 8, 2023 — SpaceDaily.com reports: “President Joe Biden vowed Tuesday he would not hesitate to defend US interests against China after he ordered the downing of a suspected surveillance balloon but, delivering his State of the Union address, kept the door open to cooperation.

In the annual speech to assembled lawmakers, many of whom have pressed for a hard line on China, Biden called for US investment in the military, technology and alliances to take on the country widely viewed as the chief US competitor.

‘I’m committed to work with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world,’ Biden said…”

US says China gave up intel secrets with balloon shoot-down

February 7, 2023 — SpaceDaily.com reports: “President Joe Biden on Monday defended the decision to wait until a Chinese balloon crossed the United States before shooting it down, and the White House said valuable intelligence was being culled from the device.

China says the balloon was an errant weather observation aircraft with no military purpose, but Washington has described it as a sophisticated high-altitude spying vehicle.

A US fighter plane shot down the balloon Saturday just off the east coast in the Atlantic and naval and coast guard forces are currently recovering the debris for intelligence analysis.

‘Once it came over the United States from Canada, I told the Defense Department I wanted to shoot it down as soon as it was appropriate,’ Biden told reporters.

‘They concluded we should not shoot it down over land. It was not a serious threat and we should wait till it got (over) the water.’

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said US personnel ‘have recovered some remnants off the surface of the sea,’ although weather conditions have not permitted much undersea surveillance of the debris field…”

Japan says past aerial objects likely Chinese spy balloons

February 15, 2023 — SpaceWar.com reports: “A fresh analysis of unidentified aerial objects that flew over Japan’s airspace in recent years ‘strongly’ suggests they were Chinese spy balloons, according to Tokyo’s defence ministry.

‘After further analysis of specific balloon-shaped flying objects previously identified in Japanese airspace, including those in November 2019, June 2020 and September 2021, we have concluded that the balloons are strongly presumed to be unmanned reconnaissance balloons flown by China,’ the ministry said in a statement late Tuesday.

It said it had ‘strongly demanded China’s government confirm the facts’ of the incident and ‘that such a situation not occur again in the future’.

‘Violations of airspace by foreign unmanned reconnaissance balloons and other means are totally unacceptable,’ it added.

Beijing hit back on Wednesday, saying Japan lacked proof.

‘Japan is making groundless accusations and smearing China without conclusive evidence. We are resolutely opposed to that,’ foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters…”

US shoots down ‘high-altitude object’ over Alaska

February 13, 2023 — SpaceWar.com reports: “A US fighter jet shot down an unidentified object drifting high over Alaska on Friday, the White House said, just six days after the downing of an alleged Chinese spy balloon sparked a fresh diplomatic rift with Beijing.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said it was unclear what the purpose or origin of the new object was, but said that it was taken down because, floating at 40,000 feet, it was a threat to civil aviation.

‘The president ordered the military to down the object,’ Kirby said.

Questioned about the incident by reporters at the White House, Biden said the shoot-down ‘was a success.’

Kirby said the object was much smaller than a huge Chinese balloon that crossed the United States last week and was shot down by a US fighter jet off the Atlantic coast on Saturday.

It was ‘roughly the size of a small car,’ he said…”  (After allowing the Chinese spy balloon to traverse the United States, including travelling over multiple military bases, the government has turned the U.S. airspace into a shooting gallery.  It is speculated that this object was a $12 balloon launched by the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade – they lost track of it over Alaska the day this was shot down.  Hobbyists like this group launch dozens of balloons like this every day.  The Sidewinder missile used to bring down this balloon cost $400,000 – and it took two missiles to bring down the object over Lake Huron – the first one missed.  See the next report.)

Speculation grows as US shoots down new mystery object

February 13, 2023 — SpaceWar.com reports: “A US warplane shot down a new flying object near the Canadian border on Sunday, the latest of three mysterious devices spotted since military radar settings were cranked up in the wake of the downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon.

Jittery Americans have been watching the skies as the mysterious incursions unfolded against a backdrop of acute tensions with China — although only the first object has so far been attributed to Beijing.

On Sunday the Pentagon said that it does not yet know what the other three objects — one shot down Friday over Alaska, one Saturday over Canada’s Yukon territory, and the most recent one Sunday over Lake Huron — are.

But it said that the object downed Sunday had been tracked for nearly a day and did not resemble the alleged Chinese surveillance balloon that was destroyed off the Atlantic coast on February 4 after traversing the country.

President Joe Biden ordered a F-16 fighter to shoot down the latest object ‘out of abundance of caution,’ a senior administration official said.

The object was described by the official as an octagonal structure with strings hanging off it.

Drifting at about 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) over Michigan, it could have posed a hazard to civil aviation, the official said…”