Canada is reportedly demanding answers from China’s ambassador over the suspected Chinese spy balloon currently hovering over the northwest portion of the U.S., as the balloon also trekked through the western portion of Canada as well.
The U.S. military confirmed this week it is monitoring the suspected Chinese spy balloon, which has been spotted over Montana.
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder described it as a “high-altitude surveillance balloon” and asserted it posed no immediate threat. He said the U.S. government and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is tracking the balloon, which is traveling at a high altitude level, far above commercial air traffic, and added it “does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”Leland Wells / LOCAL NEWS X /TMX
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.
The lack of action from the Biden administration has incensed many, including high profile Republicans calling for the administration to shoot the balloon down.
Meanwhile, the balloon — which China now claims is nothing more than a “civilian airship” collecting meteorological data — has prompted Canada to take more forceful action, calling on Chinese envoy Cong Peiwu to explain the situation.
“China’s ambassador to Canada was summoned by officials at Global Affairs Canada,” Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Charlotte MacLeod said in a statement.
“We will continue to vigorously express our position to Chinese officials through multiple channels,” she added.
In a Thursday statement, Canada’s Department of National Defense assured Canadians that they were safe and that Canada was “taking steps to ensure the security of its airspace, including the monitoring of a potential second incident.”
“NORAD, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Department of National Defence, and other partners have been assessing the situation and working in close coordination,” it continued, noting that Canada is also working with Americans to “take all necessary measures to safeguard Canada’s sensitive information from foreign intelligence threats.”
“We remain in frequent contact with our American allies as the situation develops,” it added.
Meanwhile, China claims the balloon accidentally veered off course, and Biden refused to answer questions regarding the suspected spy apparatus on Thursday.
“President Biden cannot be silent,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said of the situation, requesting a “Gang of Eight briefing.” According to reports, that meeting occurred:
China’s brazen disregard for U.S. sovereignty is a destabilizing action that must be addressed, and President Biden cannot be silent.
I am requesting a Gang of Eight briefing. https://t.co/KarTCUzbOS
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) February 3, 2023
Meanwhile, as Republicans call for further action — including shooting the balloon down — Secretary of State Antony Blinken is reportedly canceling his trip to China.
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