he Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean last week was ‘likely capable of collecting’ and pinpointing American ‘communications’ as it traversed several US states, an official said on Thursday.
American intelligence is uncovering a vast surveillance network by Beijing that has spanned 40 countries and five continents, according to the State Department.
The US is considering taking ‘action’ against China for what it calls a violation of American sovereignty.
‘It had multiple antennas to include an array likely capable of collecting and geo-locating communications,’ the official said.
‘It was equipped with solar panels large enough to produce the requisite power to operate multiple active intelligence collection sensors.’
US intelligence links the program directly to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), China’s principal military force.
The official said the US will ‘explore taking action against [Chinese government] entities linked to the PLA that supported the balloon’s incursion into US airspace.’
‘We will also look at broader efforts to expose and address the [Chinese government’s] larger surveillance activities that pose a threat to our national security, and to our allies and partners,’ they said.
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