Chinese balloons suspected of conducting reconnaissance activities were confirmed to have intruded into U.S. airspace several times during the Trump administration, three of which flew near sensitive military installations and training grounds. This was confirmed by several people familiar with the matter.
Balloons have been spotted around US Navy and Air Force bases in Texas, Florida and Hawaii, as well as around the island of Guam, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is classified.
It is said that they also flew near two naval ports in Norfolk, Virginia and Coronado, California, where the U.S. military deploys important aircraft carriers. The balloon that flew over Guam and Norfolk is thought to have the ability to disrupt radar, and it is said that the time when it flew near Norfolk, where the aircraft carrier is deployed, coincides with the launch of China’s own aircraft carrier. .
The balloons near Norfolk and Coronado flew at relatively low altitudes over waters within U.S. airspace, according to officials who have worked in the Trump administration.
The U.S. is also likely to use such tactics, but officials said the balloon shot down by U.S. forces off the southern coast of South Carolina on Saturday was part of China’s widespread surveillance program around the world.
Chinese balloons have been spotted in countries on five continents, including East and South Asia and Europe, in recent years, a senior US defense official said on Thursday.
In an interview with local media, Cheng Ming-chun, head of Taiwan’s Central Weather Service, reported that in March last year, a balloon hovered for several hours over Taipei Songshan Airport, which is used for both military and civilian use. He said it was similar to the balloon seen last week in the United States.
According to domestic media, there have been at least two reports of similar-looking balloons being sighted over the Tohoku region in 2020.
Original title:Chinese Balloons Were Spotted Near US Bases During Trump’s Era､China Balloon Saga Spotlights Beijing’s Global Spying Push (1)(excerpt)
(We will add and update sightings in Taiwan and Japan)