Spy balloon: why Beijing taunts Washington on its own territory

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The object deployed by China over the United States can be used to collect electromagnetic data, such as telecommunications. Explanations.

By Guerric Poncet

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Ihe Pentagon announced on Thursday February 2 that it was monitoring a Chinese spy balloon, spotted “for several days” above American territory. The object, comparable in size to that of a hot air balloon, moves at high altitude and does not present a risk for commercial flights. Even if the trajectory takes the balloon over military nuclear sites, the White House insists on the “limited” benefit that this overflight brings in terms of espionage, since China already has spy satellites which observe permanently the territory of the United States. Due to the risk of falling debris, US President Joe Biden decided not to bring it down. “A verification is in progress,” Beijing commented on Friday morning.

Why send such a balloon over…

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