Chinese Spy Balloons in America


Ashley Ragone

During the first week of February, Pentagon officials suspected that China was involved with a suspicious balloon that was floating at about 60,000 feet above ground; for perspective, commercial planes cruise at around 40,000 feet high. Between political controversy and concerns of Americans put in danger, let’s examine these airborne events.

On February 2, an odd figure was noticed in the sky above the state of Montana, and slowly made its way east across the northern states of America. A statement was released from Beijing, claiming that it was a “civilian” device used for “weather research” that deserted its planned course. President Biden showed a desire to shoot the balloon down, but military officials advised against this; the 200 ft. device (as tall as an ATC tower) worried some that falling debris could be fatal. On February 4, when the balloon drifted off the coast of the Carolinas, it was at last shot down by an Air Force plane. Before it was taken down, it passed over Iowa, Missouri, Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and Canada. With the finding of this balloon, there has been some political criticism of Biden and his hesitation to handle the situation. However, it has been brought to attention that he was advised to wait. The White House was also uninformed of airborne devices used during the Trump administration on separate occasions. This event has increased tensions between China and America, as fears of excess surveillance and military competition increase.