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HomeNewsBiden: North American Objects Not Part of China's Spy Balloon Operation

Biden: North American Objects Not Part of China’s Spy Balloon Operation

Biden: North American Objects Not Part of China’s Spy Balloon Operation

President Joe Biden stated on Thursday that the United States has no evidence that the three objects shot down in North American airspace were associated with China’s spy balloon program and that they are likely from private entities.

“We do not yet know precisely what these three objects were, but nothing indicates that they were related to China’s spy balloon program or were surveillance vehicles from any other nation,” Biden said in his first formal remarks on the objects shot out of the sky over Canada and the United States last weekend. “According to the current assessment of the intelligence community, these three objects were most likely balloons attached to private companies, recreation or research institutions conducting weather or other scientific research.”

ALSO READ: The US Recovers Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon’s Key Sensors

Biden: North American Objects Not Part of China’s Spy Balloon Operation. Four days after the last known object was shot down, Vice President Biden addressed the issue in a speech at the White House. The president was under increasing pressure in Washington to be more transparent about the situation and his decision-making as commander-in-chief.

Biden emphasized that there have been no indications of a “rapid increase in the number of objects in the sky.” Even though the three most recent objects appear to be harmless, Biden warned, “If any object poses a threat to the safety and security of the American people, I will remove it.”

The president stated that he has instructed his team to develop “more precise rules for how we will deal with unidentified objects in the future, differentiating between those that are likely to pose safety and security threats that require action and those that do not.” When completed, these classified parameters will be shared with Congress.

In addition, the president stated that he has instructed national security adviser Jake Sullivan to lead a “government-wide effort” to address future encounters with similar high-altitude objects.

Specifically, the administration will improve the inventory of unmanned airborne objects above American airspace, implement additional measures to detect the objects, update the rules and regulations for encounters with these types of objects above US skies, and establish global standards for similar encounters.

ALSO READ: Spy Balloon Incident Heightens US-China Tensions

The president stated that he intends to discuss the matter with Chinese President Xi Jinping and keep allies and Congress informed.

“And I hope we will get to the bottom of this,” he continued, “but I make no apologies for deflating this balloon.”

The Chinese surveillance balloon that crashed off the coast of South Carolina earlier this month, according to federal officials, was capable of conducting signals intelligence collection operations and carried a payload roughly the size of three school buses.

The subsequent objects, which have not been assigned to a particular country or entity, are believed to be considerably smaller.

This week, new protocols for how the United States will handle similar unidentified objects in the future are expected to be released.

Canadian officials admitted earlier this week that the recovery of debris from high-altitude objects shot down over Canada and the United States could still take days or weeks, and there is no assurance that the debris will be found.

ALSO READ: China Addresses US Spy Balloon Mystery

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced on Thursday that the search for debris from high-altitude objects shot down over Canada and the United States has been suspended in the Lake Huron region. The search will continue in Yukon, according to the update.

In recent days, Pentagon, State Department, and intelligence community officials briefed lawmakers on Capitol Hill regarding the first Chinese spy balloon.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have criticized Vice President Biden for not approving the military to bring down the first balloon quickly enough, allowing it to sail east for days.

They had also asked him to comment on the issue.

However, administration officials argued that the United States did not shoot down the balloon sooner out of concern that doing so could escalate military tensions with China.

They also informed lawmakers that the balloon was not shot down when it entered Alaskan airspace because the waters there are cold and deep, making it unlikely that the balloon could have been recovered.

And officials were hesitant to have the president speak publicly about the objects until more information about the three unidentified objects that were shot down over the weekend was gathered.

ALSO READ: Biden to Address Military’s Downed Aerial Objects in Extensive Remarks

Biden justified the decision to wait to shoot down the Chinese balloon on Thursday, stating that he authorized the US military to do so “as soon as it was safe to do so.”

Due to its sheer size, the military advised against shooting it down over land. It was the size of several school buses and posed a threat to people on the ground if it were shot down in a residential area, he said. Instead, we closely monitored it, analyzed its capabilities, and learned more about its operation. Because we knew its path, we were able to prevent the collection of sensitive sites. We waited until it was safely over water, which not only protected civilians but also allowed us to recover significant components for further analysis.

Biden added that shooting down the balloon sent “a clear message that the violation of our sovereignty was intolerable. We took action to protect our nation, as promised.”