A U.S. official confirmed on Thursday that the Chinese balloon that flew over the United States last week was unmistakably equipped for collecting intelligence and not weather data. Images from U.S. spy planes showed multiple antennas on the balloon that were likely capable of collecting and geo-locating communications, as well as solar panels large enough to power multiple active intelligence collection sensors. The incident prompted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel an imminent trip to Beijing, and the U.S. is now weighing taking action against Chinese entities linked to the balloon’s operation. Meanwhile, U.S. operations continue to recover debris from the balloon just off the coast of South Carolina.
Today: December 2, 2023