Tensions Rise As the US Defends Its Airspace from Chinese Foreign “Objects”

(Image via nytimes.com)

Photography Manager: Brendan Flaherty

Email: bflaherty1@umassd.edu

At about 2:39 p.m. EST on February 4th, an F-22 fighter jet launched one missile into the side of the balloon, effectively popping it. This made the remnants fall near the coast of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina so it could be recovered without endangering any civilians. 

So why exactly did China send this balloon over to the US?

Some theorized that China simply wanted to observe the weather, and some have theorized that they are spying on the U.S. Some might see it as a pre-emptive strike before war breaks out.

According to China, this was simply a weather balloon that veered off course and managed to fly all across America. Starting from the west coast near Montana and finally getting shot down on the east coast near South Carolina.

Although China does use satellites, Balloons are far more cheap and easy to use, so it would make sense for them to use weather balloons. Though US officials are concerned that this balloon was sent as a spy for China.

China has claimed that the US response is unacceptable and an overreaction to this balloon and has asked for their property back.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning, “the airship does not belong to the US. It belongs to China.”

Furthermore, China’s ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, made a comment essentially stating that if the Americans do not hand back the remnants, then it will demonstrate America’s dishonesty.

In a recent interview, a Chinese representative said that the US has, within the last year, flown 10 balloons illegally into Chinese airspace.

Although those claims have been denied by National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson.

(Image via theguardian.com)

In the same interview, Wang Wenbin, the Chinese representative, went on to say that US balloons have not only flown into their airspace, but the airspace of other countries too.

He emphasized that this has become a “common occurrence” for the US and that our nation should look to better itself before pointing fingers at China.

US officials believe this is a poor attempt from China which is, according to Watson, “scrambling to do damage control.” Going on to say that China has put forth no concrete evidence backing nor refuting the evidence against them and is now resorting to lies and deception.

Essentially both governments believe the other is lying to the people, leaving not much room for honesty from both sides.

Whilst a war still rages on between Russia and Ukraine, tensions have never been higher.

Every country is slightly on edge and is curious about everyone’s next move. Frankly, the reaction of the US is not the most insane reaction to a possible threat.

According to US officials, it is understood that this balloon is a part of China’s much larger effort to study the military capabilities of other countries. This evidence would track, seeing as the balloon traveled over multiple military bases during its flight.

According to President Biden, the shooting down of their balloon, whatever the intentions were for it, would not ultimately weaken the two country’s relations. He said that he “made it clear to China what we’re going to do.”

According to US officials, President Biden wanted the balloon shot down much earlier but was advised against it to avoid the debris falling onto any civilians.

(Image via bbc.com)

Republicans are furious about President Biden letting the balloon float over US airspace without immediate intervention.

In an interview, Republican senator Ted Cruz expressed his concern that the balloon was able to get a week’s worth of valuable information as it traveled over multiple military installations.

Though this argument would not hold up much longer as it was recently discovered that at least three balloons had entered US airspace. All of which occurred during former president Trump’s years of presidency.

This information was only discovered after the Trump administration had left office.

A call was to be made after the balloon was shot down between the secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, and the Chinese Minister of National Defense but was not accepted by China. This call was meant to ease some of the tension after it was shot down and maybe make some sense of the matter.

The Navy has already released footage of their attempts at salvaging the balloon’s wreckage in the waters off the coast of South Carolina. Although, with a debris field of about 15 x 15 football fields, the search may last quite some time.

As of 2/13/2023, the US military has reported that it has found some of the wreckage of the Chinese balloon. These discovered items include key sensors and important electronics that have been theorized for use in intelligence gathering.

Since the first balloon, more unidentified objects have floated over into US and Canadian airspace. There have been four objects shot down that we know of now, including the February 4th Chinese balloon downing.

All of these objects suddenly floating over into US airspace have some Americans worried about what might be happening and are beginning to raise questions about their security.

The “unidentified objects” that have been shot down since the February 4th balloon have occurred in this order:

– Second object shot down on February 10th off of Deadhorse, Alaska

– Third object shot down on February 11th over Yukon, Canada

– Fourth object shot down on February 12th over Lake Huron, Michigan

As for the UFO that was shot down over Canada, it was with full support that the US was able to send fighters into Canadian airspace to shoot it down. Justin Trudeau reportedly authorized the plan, commenting on Twitter: “I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace.”

What has essentially happened is that the military has become aware of the high-altitude balloons and has adjusted itself to finding objects much higher up. They have since spotted these “unidentified objects” and quickly shot them down over the span of 3 days.

The US government has yet to discover anything about these objects that they shot down and is currently working on the recovery of the second downed object in Alaska. It has been estimated that the UFO over Canada was about “car-sized.”

(Image via i.guim.co.uk)

According to Luis Elizondo, the former head of the pentagon’s UFO program, the objects were an attempt to “harass” America and to make Americans keep their eyes on the sky.

As Americans and Chinese people alike wait for answers, there is a chance for a peaceful discussion between the two Countries.

The 17th through the 19th is when the 59th Munich Security Conference will take place, where several global leaders will attend to discuss current issues.

Two representatives from both countries will attend. For the US: Vice President Kamala Harris, and for China: China’s top diplomat Wang Yi.

As the world waits in anticipation, we can only hope for a peaceful and easy solution to all this needless commotion, bringing some much-needed ease of mind to both countries.


Leave a Reply