WP: U.S. intelligence believes that China uses balloons to collect data on several countries
U.S. intelligence says China allegedly uses balloons to collect data about a number of countries, in particular, Japan and India, the Washington Post newspaper citing sources.
According to the newspaper, one of the Chinese blimps has been operating for some years, partly in Hainan province near the southern coast of China. According to the newspaper, it collected data on the military infrastructure in countries “of new strategic interest” for China. We are talking about Japan, India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan (China considers the island one of its provinces).
“What the Chinese have done is to take incredibly old technology and essentially combine it with modern communications and surveillance … It’s a huge effort,” a U.S. intelligence source told the newspaper.
According to the newspaper, U.S. intelligence has linked the Chinese balloon shot down last Saturday “to an extensive surveillance program” that the U.S. claims is being conducted by China.
The balloon, which the Americans believe was used by China for reconnaissance purposes, crossed Canada, the U.S. mainland and was shot down Saturday over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina. The Chinese claim the balloon had a civilian purpose and was used for meteorological research.