The Chinese spy balloon that entered US airspace on the west coast and flew across the country before being shot down close off the coast of South Carolina is exposing its inside structure now that the US Navy has retrieved and studied portions of the destroyed balloon. More balloons were soon spotted over South America, the Atlantic Ocean, Canada, Alaska, and the continental United States, putting to rest the notion that the first dropped balloon was a one-time occurrence. China disregarded the balloons’ worries, claiming that they had simply blown “off course.”
After analyzing the debris of the fallen balloon, Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul talked to the media on Sunday about the specifics uncovered in the wreckage of the Carolina balloon. The congressman, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stated that one of his top priorities is to stop the export of technology to China that ends up in advanced weapons systems, such as “a sophisticated spy balloon that went across three nuclear sites in plain view of the American people,” according to Newsmax.
The Chinese spy balloon that traveled across the United States did a “lot of damage” to the United States by surveilling its most-sensitive missile sites — and its payload contained parts that were American-made, Rep. Michael McCaul said Sunday. The balloon went over the air, land, and sea nuclear weapons facilities in Montana, McCaul pointed out, and also over the Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska, “which is our most sensitive nuclear site. It was so sensitive that President [George W.] Bush was taken there after 9/11. “The balloon also flew over the site in Missouri where the nations’ B-2 bombers are kept, and “going over those sites, in my judgment, would cause great damage,” said McCaul. “Remember, a balloon could see a lot more on the ground than a satellite,” he added. McCaul also said it’s clear that the balloon’s trek shows an intentional act that was done to collect information “because they’re looking at what is our capability in the event of a possible future conflict in Taiwan.”
McCaul revealed a disturbing aspect of the parts contained in the balloon. “Shockingly, when the balloon was recovered, it had American-made component parts in there with English on that,” the Texas Republican said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Parts [were] made in America that were put on a spy balloon from China. I don’t think the American people accept that.”
According to Newsmax, McCaul also addressed the hitherto unstated element of the balloons’ arrival in US airspace. “I find it extraordinary the timing of this flight as well, you know, right before the State of the Union speech, and also right before Secretary [Antony] Blinken was scheduled to meet with Chairman Xi [Jinping],” McCaul added. “I think it was very much an act of belligerence on their part and perhaps they don’t care what the American people think about that.”
The approach of the 2024 presidential election, and the declaration of former President Trump’s candidacy, may have other countries appraising the window of opportunity to draw lines in the sand with the US before a more hard-line leader takes power.
The congressman also highlighted the GOP-led Ukraine Fatigue Resolution, filed by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and endorsed by 10 other GOP legislators, which calls for a stop to aid to Ukraine, which may or may not be related to the date of the balloons’ arrival in the western hemisphere.
The resolution was introduced in November by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. According to the Hill, it asks for “preserving administration documents and communications related to Ukraine funding distribution” as well as more supervision. The Hill observed that “the Biden administration has contributed more than $20 billion in military aid to Kyiv as well as around $10 billion in humanitarian assistance and nearly $13 billion in economic help”. Furthermore, the president requested an extra #37.7 billion in aid for Ukraine.
McCaul said he is confident that the United States will continue to help Ukraine, and he’d like to see that happen faster “so they can win this faster.” He said lawmakers in favor of keeping the funding have spoken with Greene, one of the backers of the defunding bill, and he believes she is now satisfied with the controls that are in place on the spending.” “I don’t think they will ever be persuaded that this cause is something they would support,” said McCaul. “I think they have this false dichotomy that somehow we can’t help Ukraine, you know, beat back the Russians who invaded their country, and- and secure the border. We can do both. We’re a great nation.”