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Why has China sent a surveillance balloon over U.S. and Canada? Does this mean an inevitable march towards a conflict?

The U.S. government has identified an air balloon floating more than 40,000 feet over Montana in the previous week. Now, the nation suspects that it is a surveillance balloon sent by China to spy on the U.S. A senior defense official has talked about the matter stating that they are confident that the people’s Republic of China has sent the surveillance balloon. Instances of such type have occurred several times throughout the year, before the administration.

The incident has proved to be threatening to the U.S. government as the location is sensitive. Montana is the base of the Air Force’s 341st Missile wing and its Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The U.S. government disclosed the surveillance balloon in the early week but the Biden government revealed the situation on Thursday. Furthermore, an official has declared that the U.S. government has started to trace down the location as it paved the way to Northern America.

It has not been stated how threatening this can be the situation for the nation. There needs to be more clarity about the abilities of the surveillance balloon. But they have concluded that the balloon is traveling at an altitude well above the air traffic and has not posed a threat to the public or military people as well. 

China spies on the U.S.

The U.S. government has stated that the surveillance balloon does not yet possess an intelligence-gathering task.

The Pentagon has not taken any action about the balloon. The Defense Secretary has told the Biden government to refrain from shooting the balloon because of the possibility of debris falling.

The authority has considered the idea of shooting the surveillance balloon down but has not continued with it because it was significantly large and may possess chances of potential damage. The balloon is presently at an altitude above the civilian aircraft, implying that there are no immediate risks to the public.

The tussle between the U.S. and China severes as China sends a surveillance balloon into the U.S. airspace; what could be reason behind China’s espionage:

The Chinese have always raised queries and concerns about the surveillance of the U.S. by ships and spy planes near their territories. This has led to confrontation over the years. 

However, the Chinese government has denied all the allegations mentioning that China has no intention to violate the boundaries of the other countries sovereignty and airspace.

In response to the issue, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has commented that Beijing will verify the facts and asked the respective nations to handle the situation calmly.

This claim may threaten the relationship between the U.S. and China. The news has come at the wrong time when Antony Blinken, Secretary of State will travel to Beijing in the next few days. The trip was intended to follow up on Biden’s meeting with Jinping in the past year.

The situation has caused the Biden government to take necessary measures to cool down the heat between the nations. The tussle has stirred up an inevitable confrontation between two rising rivals.

This has questioned Blinken’s travel in China. If he continues with the visit, it implies that the U.S. government has not come out as strong in the face of China. The relationship between Beijing and Washington is a crucial element in the world’s diplomatic relationship.

The California Republican has mentioned that China’s denial and invasion of U.S. sovereignty is a destabilizing action that has to be addressed. President Biden can not overlook the matter.

With the surveillance of China over the U.S., the main question lies: what could be the reason for such action before Blinkin’s critical visit which was intended to address the situations causing their relationship to be severe?

The Chinese government has alleged that the surveillance balloon was a civilian airship used for research, specifically for meteorological purposes. The airship has limited steering abilities and has deviated from its trajectory due to the course of the winds. China has further stated that they regret the unintended entry into the U.S. spaces.

This raises multiple questions about the surveillance balloon-like for how long has the civilian airship remained in the airspace. The officials have reported that they observed the surveillance balloon in two to three days, which means that was introduced in the airspace quite a long time ago.

America spends an estimated value of 800 billion dollars on defense each year. It has suffered the trauma of the severe terror attack in Western history: 09/11.

China’s statements may be based on false grounds, as no one would introduce an airship above 40,000 m in height in the airspace for leisure activities. But, the incident is more likely to be a fresh irritant in the U.S-China relationship.

In addition, a new Chinese threat has emerged in Antarctica, where it plans to build a satellite ground station for ocean observation. The reports have raised questions if China will use of Antarctica as a base for its military activities similar to what it did with other islands in the Indian ocean.

Perhaps, the balloon was released accidentally in U.S. airspace and not with the intent of spying.

But, what if the situation would have taken place another way round, would the Jinping-led government would be able to handle the situation calmly or it would carve out a scenario citing the propaganda of the U.S. government?

The situation would flame the tensions between the respective nations and China’s “intentional mistakes” may be worsening the situation.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma

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