Congressional Republicans Demand Answers On Chinese Spying Operations

Republicans in Congress are demanding an explanation from the Biden administration following revelations that the Chinese spy balloon that overflew the United States was more complex than originally thought as well as Beijing’s aggressive posture.

A number of Republican senators are demanding answers regarding the White House’s actions. The senators, which includes Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senate Committee on Armed Services Ranking Member Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) signed a joint letter to the president.

The senators expressed their “deep concern with the lack of transparency from your administration over the information it has collecting the surveillance platform that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) deployed over our country.”

The senators said that Beijing “has only increased its brazen threats to our national security.” The Republicans said that in addition to the balloon, China had “conducted dangerous maneuvers” against American aircraft and ships. 

The senators also referenced harming American companies in China, and the People’s Republic committing “egregious human rights violations.”

In addition, the letter referenced a Chinese malware attack on an American target as “part of a vast Chinese intelligence collection effort.” 

“It is time that your administration fully exposes Beijing’s effort to collect intelligence against the United States and the threats posed by such activities.”

During the winter, Republicans in Congress demanded to know why President Joe Biden decided to wait until after the balloon had crossed the continental United States prior to shooting it down.

The balloon was destroyed off the coast of South Carolina.

The initial explanation from the White House was that the balloon’s instruments were disabled, and not capable of conducting extensive spying during its transit.

The senators’ letter comes during reports that the Biden administration prioritized relations with China over a stronger response regarding the balloon. This led to accusations from Republicans that the Biden White House is not taking the threat from the Chinese Communist Party seriously.

Furthermore, it was recently revealed that Biden considered apologizing to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the balloon’s downing.