The Chinese military have been on high alert war footing for over a year, they have spent massive billions on defence, with incursions into India testing their ability to respond. They have been flying large numbers of planes into Taiwan airspace practice runs, to test their defence and to provoke US and identify where they respond from, giving them the target to take out before attacking Taiwan. The have surveyed the deep ocean trenches around Australia and other countries where they can safely hide nuclear submarines to attack as they choose.
They have had spies all over Australia for decades and the governments did nothing, they own land near ever major facility ready to take them out, they have mapped every bit of Australia posing as tourists. They have been found in many out of way areas, with sharp, staunch manner from years of military training.
Senior US and NATO Generals, top US House Foreign Affairs officials and UN Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, have all seriously warned China is about to start a major nuclear war, probably in 2025. The spy balloons are just a small part made public, they had their practice run with Covid, under that guise they vaccinated their population against the big one. They are about to release genetically targeted viruses against the west.
While total stupidity reigns supreme here in Australia, with little preparation, a run down defence ability and the ignorance of all of it and a government to stupid to build our defences as a matter of urgent top priority and bring in conscription military training.
If you want to live in a free country be prepared to fight for that right.
They are going to waste $235 million urgently needed for our national defence on a stupid unnecessary referendum that will further divide us making an easier target for the Chinese knowing we have no defence.
When The Voice people, mixed gender folk, Greens and TEALS march in protest after the Chinese take over, they will only do it once — as the Tibetans learned, most are too young to remember their brutality to the Tibetan monks and civilians, raped, tortured, body parts cut off and thousands forced over cliffs.
The ignorance and attitude of those in government are destroying our country, and with the threat of war looming a wise government would cut all grants and public wastage to consolidate funds for defence.
You are being handed over to the Chinese invasion, and NO, they will not honour any agreements, why should they, we lost.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America. China insisted the flyover was an accident involving a civilian aircraft and threatened repercussions.
President Joe Biden issued the order but had wanted the balloon downed even earlier, on Wednesday. He was advised that the best time for the operation would be when it was over water, U.S. officials said. Military officials determined that bringing it down over land from an altitude of 60,000 feet would pose an undue risk to people on the ground.
China responded that it reserved the right to “take further actions” and criticized the U.S. for “an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice.”
In its statement Sunday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “China will resolutely uphold the relevant company’s legitimate rights and interests, and at the same time reserving the right to take further actions in response.”
The presence of the balloon in the skies above the U.S. this week dealt a severe blow to already strained U.S.-Chinese relations that have been in a downward spiral for years. It prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to abruptly cancel a high-stakes Beijing trip aimed at easing tensions.
“They successfully took it down and I want to compliment our aviators who did it,” Biden said after getting off Air Force One en route to Camp David.
The giant white orb was spotted Saturday morning over the Carolinas as it approached the Atlantic coast. About 2:39 p.m. EST, an F-22 fighter jet fired a missile at the balloon, puncturing it while it was about 6 nautical miles off the coast near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, senior defense officials said.
The spectacle had Americans looking to the skies all week, wondering whether the mysterious balloon had floated over them.
On Saturday, Ashlyn Preaux, 33, went out to get her mail in Forestbrook, South Carolina, and noticed her neighbors looking up — and there it was, the balloon in the cloudless blue sky. Then she saw fighter jets circling and the balloon get hit.
“I did not anticipate waking up to be in a ‘Top Gun’ movie today,” she said.
The debris landed in 47 feet of water, shallower than officials had expected, and it spread out over roughly seven miles and the recovery operation included several ships. The officials estimated the recovery efforts would be completed in a short time, not weeks. A salvage vessel was en route.
U.S. defense and military officials said Saturday that the balloon entered the U.S. air defense zone north of the Aleutian Islands on Jan. 28 and moved largely over land across Alaska and then into Canadian airspace in the Northwest Territories on Monday. It crossed back into U.S. territory over northern Idaho on Tuesday, the day the White House said Biden was first briefed on it.
The Americans were able to collect intelligence on the balloon as it flew over the U.S., giving them a number of days to analyze it and learn how it moved and what it was capable of surveilling, according to two senior defense officials said. The officials briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.
The officials said the U.S. military was constantly assessing the threat, and concluded that the technology on the balloon didn’t give the Chinese significant intelligence beyond what it could already obtain from satellites, though the U.S. took steps to mitigate what information it could gather as it moved along.
Republicans were critical of Biden’s response.
“Allowing a spy balloon from the Communist Party of China to travel across the entire continental United States before contesting its presence is a disastrous projection of weakness by the White House,” said Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., tweeted: “Now that this embarrassing episode is over, we need answers from the Biden Administration on the decision-making process. Communist China was allowed to violate American sovereignty unimpeded for days. We must be better prepared for future provocations and incursions by the CCP.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was more positive: “Thank you to the men and women of the United States military who were responsible for completing the mission to shoot down the Chinese surveillance balloon. The Biden Administration did the right thing in bringing it down.”
China has claimed that the balloon was merely a weather research “airship” that had been blown off course. The Pentagon rejected that out of hand — as well as China’s contention that it was not being used for surveillance and had only limited navigational ability.
The Chinese government on Saturday sought to play down the cancellation of Blinken’s trip. “In actuality, the U.S. and China have never announced any visit, the U.S. making any such announcement is their own business, and we respect that,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The Pentagon also acknowledged reports of a second balloon flying over Latin America. “We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement. Officials said the balloons are part of a fleet that China uses for surveillance, and they can be maneuvered remotely through small motors and propellers. One official said they carry equipment in the pod under the balloon that is not usually associated with standard meteorological activities or civilian research.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a question about the second balloon.
This isn’t the first time Chinese spy balloons have crossed into U.S. airspace in recent years, one of the officials said. At least three times during the Trump administration and at least one other time during Biden’s time as president they’ve seen balloons cross, but not for this long, the official said.
Blinken, who had been due to depart Washington for Beijing late Friday, said he had told senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in a phone call that sending the balloon over the U.S. was “an irresponsible act and that (China’s) decision to take this action on the eve of my visit is detrimental to the substantive discussions that we were prepared to have.”
Uncensored reactions on the Chinese internet mirrored the official government stance that the U.S. was hyping the situation. Some used it as a chance to poke fun at U.S. defenses, saying it couldn’t even defend against a balloon, and nationalist influencers leaped to use the news to mock the U.S.
China has denied any claims of spying and said it is a civilian-use balloon intended for meteorology research. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that the balloon’s journey was out of its control and urged the U.S. not to “smear” it because of the balloon.
In preparation for the operation Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration temporarily closed airspace over the Carolina coast, including the airports in Myrtle Beach and Charleston, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina. The FAA rerouted air traffic from the area and warned of delays as a result of the flight restrictions. The FAA and Coast Guard worked to clear the airspace and water below the balloon as it reached the ocean.
Television footage showed a small explosion, followed by the giant deflated balloon descending like a ribbon toward the water.
Bill Swanson said he watched the balloon deflate instantly from his house in Myrtle Beach as fighter jets circled around.
“When it deflated it was pretty close to instantaneous,” he said. “One second it’s there like a tiny moon and the next second it’s gone.” Swanson added that a trail of smoke followed the balloon as it dropped.
Associated Press writers Chris Megerian in Hagerstown, Md.; Tara Copp and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, S.C.; Kimberlee Kruesi in Nashville, Tenn.; Huizhong Wu in Taipei; and researcher Henry Hou in Beijing contributed to this report.
“What did the president know, and when did he know it?”
That was the question asked of Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal of the 1970s.The presumption, of course, was that the 37th president knew more about the scandalous activities than he was letting on.And, of course, Nixon was ultimately forced out of office because of Watergate.
Today, I’d like to ask the same question of Joe Biden about the China Spy Balloon-gate scandal. Of course, the matter of the Chinese spy balloon is lot more serious than the Watergate break-in because it potentially affects the safety and well-being of 335 million Americans.
Yes, President Biden finally oversaw the shoot-down of the spy balloon on Saturday, but only after it had spent days floating over the United States’ landmass from Alaska to South Carolina. Is that the right way to handle an intrusion from a rival — even adversarial — superpower? Should we allow their surveillance machines to traverse our country and only deal with them after they’ve finished their American tour?
Important questions need answers.So, without further ado, here are ten questions for the 46th president:
1. Mr. President, Bloomberg News reports that your administration first knew about about the balloon on January 28.And yet the public didn’t become aware of it until six days later, on February 2, when The Billings Gazette published amateur video of the balloon in the sky.Only then did it became big international news.Why the lag in awareness?Was this a cover-up? And is it true, as Bloomberg News suggests, that your administration sat on the balloon news so as not to disrupt Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Beijing, which has now been postponed?As Bloomberg puts it, “with such a high-profile trip at stake, keeping it on the down-low was key.”Is that how your team saw the balloon incident?As a story to be kept on the “down-low”?And if so, why?The Chinese knew about the balloon—why shouldn’t Americans?
The China spy balloon flying over Billings, Montana, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (Larry Mayer/The Billings Gazette via AP)
2. We know that liberals often pride themselves on preferring negotiation to confrontation. And of course, your senior climate envoy, John Kerry, has argued that the most important global issue is engaging with China on climate change. Indeed, you yourself have used the phrase “existential threat” many times in regard to climate change — a stark phrase that you have never used about China. So, has your administration’s desire to work with China on the “existential threat” of climate change affected your stance on the spy balloon? Did these concerns — as you define it, the fate of the planet — give you any feeling that you should slow down your reaction to this Chinese aggression? Might that explain why you let the spy balloon exist over American airspace for a week?
3. Donald Trump said, “shoot down the balloon.” Interestingly, your fellow Democrat Leon Panetta, who served as secretary of defense alongside you in the Obama administration, has said the same thing.Were Trump and Panetta correct? Could it be said that you were following their lead?
4. Bloomberg News also reports, “In an effort to keep things calm, administration officials stressed this was not the first such incident and that similar activities had been observed over the past several years, including during the prior administration.” What, precisely, is being said here?Are your anonymous briefers to the media saying that an earlier balloon flew over the United States and the Trump administration did nothing? That’s quite an assertion! Would your people affirm that statementunder oath in testimony before Congress?
5. As a follow-up, Chad Wolf, the former acting secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration, declared, “Bottom line, a Chinese spy balloon would NEVER happen under an America First admin.”Is Wolf wrong?Is he misinformed about his own administration?
6. If it is the case that Chinese surveillance balloons have flown over, or even near, the United States prior to your administration, could you please outline the security policies that you put in place once you took office and had this knowledge? Were these policies followed in the case of this particular spy balloon?Is it the policy, for example, to let the balloon enter American airspace and fly all the way across the country before taking any action? And on Saturday afternoon, you indicated that you had given orders back on February 1 to shoot down the balloon when it was over water as opposed to land. That declaration would seem to suggest the existence of a substantial paper trail of your executive decision-making. Would you be willing to open all those deliberations to the relevant Congressional oversight committees? And perhaps to the public as well?
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One on Jan. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)
And as a follow-up, sir, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) has declared, “It’s clear the Biden administration had hoped to hide this national security failure from Congress and the American people.” He is suggesting that you only chose to shoot down the spy balloon after its existence became known. Is Rep. Rogers wrong? If so, are you willing to release the documents to bolster your assertion that he’s wrong? Surely such full disclosure would be the best way to convince the public that you didn’t simply bow to pressure once the balloon’s intrusion became known.
7. Bloomberg News further notes, in a story credited to a total of six of its reporters, “The Biden administration knew it had to exercise extreme caution especially in what was a heated political environment ahead of 2024 elections, with Republicans agitating on which party could strike a harder or tougher line on China.”Is this how you see the Chinese spy balloon issue?As a political matter?As a source of potential vulnerability in your possible re-election campaign? If so, has concern over 2024 affected your actions on the spy balloon?
8. Has the $54.6 million in donations from sources in China that poured into your “think tank,” the Penn Biden Center, affected your thinking on China at all?Or the thinking of your Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was the former managing director of the Penn Biden Center when it raked in all that cash from Communist China?And is there anything you want to tell us about the influence of your son Hunter Biden’s many and variousChinesebusinesspartners? In fact, do you have anything at all you would like to tell us about the $31 million that members of your family scored in five business deals with individuals who have direct ties to the highest levels of the Chinese intelligence apparatus?
(PennBiden/Facebook, Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images; BNN Edit)
Chinese Communist Party Leader Xi Jinping shake hands with U.S. President Joe Biden at the G20 summit on Nov. 14, 2022, in Bali, Indonesia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
9. We now see reports of a second Chinese spy balloon flying over South America.What will the U.S. do if this balloon also enters American airspace? Or do you plan to stop it this time before it enters American airspace? Will you, and how will you, communicate to China that this is unacceptable in all cases at all times? Will you enunciate an overall policy on such incursions?
10. It has been reported that the Chinese spy balloon deliberately avoided Russian airspace, which suggests that the People’s Republic of China had tight control over the spy balloon and used that control to avoid doing anything to upset the Russians.Why do you think the Chinese chose to treatAmerica differently?And speaking of Russia, what will the U.S. do if the Russians send over a spy balloon?Or the North Koreans? Or the Iranians? Will you let such spy balloons to fly over the nation first and only then shoot them down? What if it’s some other kind of aircraft or spacecraft? And what new defense systems might we need to deal with this threat?
So, those are my ten questions on the spy balloon.Thanks in advance, Mr. President, for your full and complete answers!
Oh, and one last thing, sir.
You were in the U.S. Senate during the Watergate scandal, so you no doubt remember the famous question, “What did the president know, and when did he know it?”
In that same spirit, I’d like to ask you about all the classified documents that keep popping up in the Penn Biden Center, your home, and elsewhere. And sir, with all due respect, if you don’t mind, I’d like to have your answers under oath.
The U.S. military has shot down the suspected Chinese spy balloon that has been in the sky above the continental United States this week.
The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down on Saturday morning while it was over the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolina coast. On Saturday, South Carolina residents caught video footage of the hostile foreign country’s spy balloon being shot out of the sky.
“This afternoon, at the direction of President Biden, U.S. fighter aircraft assigned to U.S. Northern Command successfully brought down the high altitude surveillance balloon launched by and belonging to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over the water off the coast of South Carolina in U.S. airspace,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement.
Biden told reporters on Saturday that he ordered the Pentagon to shoot down the spy balloon on Wednesday.
Biden: “On the balloon, I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible [for safety] … they successfully took it down.” pic.twitter.com/2GbSzejnZI
When reporters asked Biden earlier on Saturday about the balloon, he told them, “We’re gonna take care of it.”
The Secretary of Defense statement noted:
The balloon, which was being used by the PRC in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters. On Wednesday, President Biden gave his authorization to take down the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon’s path. After careful analysis, U.S. military commanders had determined downing the balloon while over land posed an undue risk to people across a wide area due to the size and altitude of the balloon and its surveillance payload. In accordance with the President’s direction, the Department of Defense developed options to take down the balloon safely over our territorial waters, while closely monitoring its path and intelligence collection activities.
This action was taken in coordination, and with the full support, of the Canadian government. And we thank Canada for its contribution to tracking and analysis of the balloon through NORAD as it transited North America. Today’s deliberate and lawful action demonstrates that President Biden and his national security team will always put the safety and security of the American people first while responding effectively to the PRC’s unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.
The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily closed the airspace over the coastline of the Carolinas, the Associated Press reported. This included “the airports in Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina. The FAA rerouted air traffic from the area and warned of delays as a result of the flight restrictions,” according to the AP.
The balloon was reportedly flying about 60,000 feet above the ground, and was estimated to be the size of roughly three school buses. An operation is now underway to recover the debris from the object.
U.S. civilians first discovered the spy balloon floating over their homes on Thursday. Residents from Montana shared video footage of the object in the sky.
During an interview on Newsmax TV on Friday, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) stated that the Chinese spy balloon incident needs to be “a Sputnik moment” for the United States.
Waltz stated, “I think a potential silver lining from this spy balloon incident is I’m hoping it’s a Sputnik moment for American society and the government in Washington, D.C. that we need — we absolutely need a wake-up call. This is the most massive spying operation that any adversary has undertaken against the United States and influence operation in American history. We are under assault from Chinese spying. It’s in our research labs. It’s in our universities. It’s — they’re influencing and buying up sports, Wall Street, academia, pouring billions into college endowment funds — the University of Pennsylvania Biden Center being just one of them. And now, as we do our own investigation — and we’re asking the Pentagon to do theirs — we’re seeing that Chinese-backed private equity [is] buying up military schools and private schools and boarding schools all over the United States. One, it gives them a platform to influence our kids on top of what they’re already doing with TikTok. And then number two, they can send their elites to these schools. So, we’ve just got to have a wake-up call across the board. And again, the sad thing is, we’re paying for it. This is our money that is fueling their military build-up and their spying operation.”
New: Pentagon says another Chinese spy balloon is currently transiting Latin America. Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said in a statement to CNN, “We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon.”
The U.S. government, including NORAD, continues to track and monitor it closely. The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years. Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.
However, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed the balloon is a “civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes.”
“Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course,” the spokesperson said on Friday before news of the second spy balloon broke.
It is unclear where in Latin America the second balloon was discovered, but U.S. officials told CNN the second balloon does not appear to be headed toward the country.
United States officials urged President Joe Biden to shoot down the first balloon found flying over American airspace.
“It was a mistake to not shoot down that Chinese spy balloon when it was over a sparsely populated area,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said.
Former President Donald Trump urged Biden to “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!”
However, the Pentagon on Friday rejected calls to shoot down the balloon, arguing that “any potential debris field would be significant” and could lead to “civilian injuries or deaths or significant property damage.”
Apparently, the Chinese spy balloon isn’t the first. Additionally, according to the Pentagon, there are several more floating around over various countries. All of that said, what exactly is going on here and why doesn’t anyone just get rid of it?
These and other questions are posed by Tucker Carlson who seems as confused as anyone else about what exactly the nature of these Chinese Balloon things are all about. WATCH:
It does seem a little silly that our entire media apparatus is fixated on a Chinese balloon which could simply be destroyed if that was what the U.S. government really wanted to do. It’s all a little odd at this point…
I mean, what the heck else is going on while everyone is fixated on this balloon.
WASHINGTON DC – Not everyone in Washington is freaking out about the suspected Chinese spy balloon flying high over the United States. Some former officials say it’s giving U.S. diplomats exactly what they need: more leverage over Beijing.
The Chinese airship forced the U.S. military to scramble fighter jets, prompted lawmakers to demand answers from the Biden administration and led Secretary of State Antony Blinken to indefinitely postpone his trip to Beijing this weekend.
But Blinken was going to China without much hope of getting concessions on major issues such as Beijing’s support for Russia’s war on Ukraine, its human rights abuses or its threats to Taiwan. Now, some former officials who’ve worked on international negotiations say he may be in a stronger position, though that advantage may fade over time.
“This event definitely strengthens the hands of the United States,” said Heather McMahon, a former senior director at the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. “Anytime an espionage operation is exposed, [it] gives the advantage to the targeted nation.”
Blinken was preparing to see top officials in China on Sunday and Monday in a follow-up to President Joe Biden’s meeting with Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping in Bali in November. At the time, Biden pledged to “maintain open lines of communication” with Beijing amid worsening bilateral tensions.
The Pentagon’s announcement Thursday of an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon hovering over Montana changed that plan. In canceling Blinken’s trip, at least for now, the State Department said the incident “would have narrowed the agenda in a way that would have been unhelpful and unconstructive.” (read more)
According to the Politico ‘spin’, the appearance of the balloon is a good thing.
Former President Donald Trump warned on Friday that China has “many thousands of spies working in the United States” in various industries amid a revelation that a Chinese spy balloon is flying over the continental United States.
“It’s rarely even mentioned that China has many thousands of spies working in the United States in business, finance, academia, technology, media and likely, even government, very sadly,” Trump declared.
Trump then called out President Joe Biden for ending Trump’s Department of Justice initiative that focused on combatting Chinese espionage within the country. Trump said:
As President, I established a special initiative at the Department of Justice tasked with the sole mission of targeting Chinese espionage in the United States. Joe Biden terminated that program right away, suggesting that it was somehow racist. According to published reports.
Trump noted that Biden’s move to end the special initiative came after 160 University of Pennsylvania faculty members demanded an end to the initiative. Trump urged Congress to “dig deep into the financial operations of the University of Pennsylvania, it’s Chinese donors, the Biden Center, and the Biden family and figure out what the hell is going on.”
Trump said he would take action against Chinese espionage within the country “in a very big way,” if he wins the 2024 presidential contest.
“As President I took the most dramatic action of any administration to curtail China’s ability to conduct espionage in the United States,” Trump said. “And when I’m back in the White House, those efforts will be expanded in a very, very big way.”
“Instead of hunting down Republicans, a reformed FBI and Justice Department will be hunting down Chinese spies. We will create new partnerships with businesses and universities to give them the tools to protect themselves from insider threats,” Trump announced.
He also said his administration would “impose whatever visa sanctions and travel restrictions are necessary to shut off Chinese access to American secrets in compliance with our demands, and in compliance with our laws.”
“The FBI even recently admitted that China operates a secret police force on American soil. How do you like that One? Imposing the Iron Fist of the Communist Party,” Trump concluded. “The rule, think of this, the Communist Party rule on Chinese nationals in the United States. Just think about that. We will shut that down and we will shut it down cold. Thank you very much.”
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.