Another Balloon Enters US Airspace

American officials announced this week that another balloon has been spotted flying over the United States, leading to fears that it could be another Chinese spycraft. The recent discovery is similar to the discovery of a Chinese spy balloon transiting over the United States about this time last year.

The approximately 50-foot-tall balloon was intercepted over Utah at about 40,000 feet. It appeared to be carrying a smaller payload.

American officials said that the balloon’s mission is unclear. It is currently traveling east from Utah.

The current balloon is significantly smaller than the Chinese spycraft from last year. American officials stated that they do not believe it is a national security issue.

The craft was not shot down when it was first spotted and intercepted.

The spy balloon last year led to considerable concern as it traveled across the continental United States before being shot down off the coast of South Carolina. A number of Republicans criticized the Biden administration for not downing the balloon earlier.

An investigation by the federal government discovered that the balloon used solar panels to stay powered and used American cell signals to transmit information back to China. Even though the Pentagon at first believed that the balloon’s electronics were jammed, it now appears more likely that at least some information got back to China.

Beijing still denies that the balloon was a spycraft and instead insists it was blown off course. However, in recent months China has used a number of spy balloons against its island neighbor Taiwan.

Taiwan reported that it discovered at least six balloons prior to its crucial presidential election. Several of the balloons appeared to transit near or over sensitive military sites. None of these balloons were shot down.

Furthermore, the discovery of the Chinese spy balloon last year led to a number of other shootdowns in and around the United States and Canada out of fears that the other craft may be Chinese spycraft, as well.