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A Security Official Claims That China Sent Balloons During Trump’s Presidency

After President Biden gave the order to take the Chinese spy balloon down, there have been questions about whether this has happened before. Finally, the Department of Defense (D.O.D.) has come out to say that it has. 

The DoD has given a statement explaining events when a U.S. fighter jet shot down the balloon above the Atlantic Ocean. First, they confirmed that China had sent the balloon to survey the country. The department then assured people that the balloon presented no threat to U.S. citizens as it only breached sovereignty.

Official reveals China sent balloons three times before

During the speech, the DoD announced that this was not the first time the incident had occurred. They stated that an anonymous official claims this happened during Former President Donald Trump’s term. This official states that three Chinese balloons had entered the U.S. airspace thrice during Trump’s presidency. However, the official doesn’t say when this occurred and how serious the incidents were. The official claims that the balloons were initially undetected during Trump’s presidency and classified as U.F.Os. However, when the Pentagon realized China’s involvement, they stayed silent so the latter wouldn’t be aware of the unearthing.

Former White House officials deny the claims

After the official named Trump, many former White House officials have denied this claim. One of them is John Ratcliffe, the former D.N.I. who refuted that any Chinese balloons flew into U.S. airspace during Trump’s term. Ratcliffe even went to Fox News to dispute the claim stating that the media would have been aware of the incident if it had occurred.

Others who have refuted it are Mark Esper, the former secretary of defense, and Mike Pompeo, former C.I.A. director. Republicans view this as a means to take the heat off Biden, who many believe reacted too slowly to the spy balloon.

China and the U.S. were trying to mend relations

Meanwhile, China is trying to do some damage control. When the new year began, many thought that tension between the two countries would reduce. China’s foreign minister had even stated that the country was looking forward to a visit from Anthony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State. The country viewed this as an opportunity to strengthen its economic relationship with the U.S. 

However, after people spotted a balloon from China with surveillance equipment, people started to question what this meant and if it could impact relations in the future. As a result, the incident has caused Blinken to postpone its visit to Beijing. 

Experts point out that Beijing was looking forward to having talks with Blinken. For this reason, they would have expected the country to ensure the days leading up to the visit were as smooth as possible. For this reason, the timing of this incident is strange.

China has tried to explain the event

Beijing confirmed the balloon was from China about 12 hours after the Pentagon said it was tracking its origin. China now claims that the balloon was a civilian spaceship collecting data for its research. It dates that the balloon deviated from its course due to the winds and poor starting capability, thus why it was in the U.S.

Later on, Beijing would blame companies for the ball. However, it soon admitted that another balloon had deviated from its course and gone to the Caribbean and Latin America. China still needs to reveal the manufacturer of the balloon. 

On the other hand, the U.S. has said that the balloon was part of a surveillance effort and that China had sent several balloons over five continents in the last few years. The incident occurs when China tries to fix its image and re engage with the world. Experts view it as either a miscalculation or miscommunication within China’s government.

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