He chinese balloon that flew over the United States was able to collect intelligence from various US military sites and transmit it to Beijing in real time, despite the efforts of the Biden administration to prevent it from doing so, reported NBC News.
The high-altitude balloon, controlled by Beijing, was able to make multiple passes over some of the sites before being shot down on February 4, sometimes flying in a figure eight, he said. nbcciting two current senior US officials and one former senior administration official.
The three officials said they could transmit the information they collected to Beijing in real time, it reported. NBC.
“The intelligence that China collected was mainly from electronic signswhich can be captured from weapons systems or include communications from base personnel, rather than images,” he said. nbc citing officials.
The White House official, John Kirbytold reporters on Monday that he could not confirm the report of nbcbut said that The United States limited the “capacity of the globe to be able to collect any additives.”
He added that the US government was able to study and analyze the balloon while it was in US airspace and said they got “useful context.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to China’s request for comment. Reuters.
At the time, US officials downplayed the balloon’s impact on national security.
The balloon, which Beijing denies was a government spy craft, spent a week flying over the United States and Canada in early February before the US military shoot him down off the atlantic coast by order of President Joe Biden.
The incident led the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkento postpone a planned visit to Beijing and further strained relations between Washington and Beijing.
The episode caused a stir in Washington and led the US military to search the skies for other objects that were not being picked up by radar.
The United States said on February 17 that it had successfully concluded recovery efforts off South Carolina to collect sensors and other debris from the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon and that investigators would analyze its “guts.”
In February, after China insisted the balloon had a “weather” mission, images of the U2 spy planes showed that the Chinese balloon that flew over the United States was unmistakably equipped to collect intelligence and not weather data.
Detailed images taken by the high-altitude U2s showed that the balloon team “it was clearly for intelligence surveillance and it was inconsistent with the equipment aboard the weather balloons,” said a senior State Department official. “Had multiple antennas to include a matrix likely capable of collecting and geolocating communications.”
(With information from Reuters)
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