China Says it Recently Detected US Spy Balloons

    China Says it Recently Detected US Spy Balloons
    Last updated Feb 13, 2023
    Image credit: VCG/Getty Images [via New York Post]


    • China on Monday accused the US of flying high-altitude balloons over PRC airspace without permission at least 10 times since early last year. Wang Wenbin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "It is nothing rare for U.S. balloons to illegally enter other countries’ airspace."[1]
    • Wang didn't specify whether the balloons were for military or espionage purposes, but suggested that the US should re-evaluate and change its international behavior.[2]
    • This comes after the US shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon, as well as three additional unidentified flying objects of unknown origins in recent days. US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson called the accusation China's attempt at "damage control."[3]
    • Watson added that China has violated "the sovereignty" of "over 40 countries across five continents." In the wake of the first balloon incident, US Sec. of State Antony Blinken canceled his planned trip to Beijing.[4]
    • As US officials say the sudden increase in detected flying objects might be due to enhanced airspace scrutiny and radar operations by the Pentagon, China is reportedly currently monitoring an object flying over its own airspace over the water near the city of Rizhao.[1]


    Anti-China narrative

    China’s claims are an attempt at damage control after it failed to convince the world that the surveillance balloon was a weather balloon. As the world’s leading espionage actor, China won’t be able to easily cast the US as the antagonist in this situation.

    Pro-China narrative

    By using its advanced technology for spying — not just in China but on every continent — the US is the one saber-rattling and posing military risks, not China. The US should respect the sovereignty of all nations and put its technology to more peaceful, helpful uses.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 19% chance that there will be a US-China war by 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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