On Saturday, 4 February, fighter jets from the US Air Force shot down the peculiar airship over the Atlantic Ocean by the coast of South Carolina, suspected by many to be a surveillance balloon from China. This story has been dominating the American mainstream news cycle for days now.
President Joe Biden, right before boarding Air Force One, proudly proclaimed he ‘ordered the Pentagon to shoot it [the suspected spy baloon] down on Wednesday, as soon as possible’. While the aircraft was indeed brought down, it is not the great triumph for America the White House is trying to make it out to be. In fact, it raises quite a few unpleasant questions.
The balloon was first spotted on 1 February over Billings, Montana by a civilian. Since it likely entered American airspace on 28 January, above Alaska, it was allowed to drift above US land for four days and thousands of miles before being spotted—again, by a civilian, not anyone from the military or the government. It took an additional three days for the Biden administration to actually shoot it down.
The People’s Republic of China maintains that the aircraft in question was not a ‘spy balloon’. Instead, they claim it was a weather balloon that drifted far off course by accident, although this seems untenable to many. After all, the height at which the the vessel travelled was about 200 feet (60 metres), while average weather balloons tend to expand to 20 feet (6 metres) in diameter. Also, US officials claim they found surveillance equipment in the debris after it was shot down. As a result of rising tensions over the curious incident, Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed his trip to China.
Were There Chinese Spy Balloons Flying Over the US Under President Trump?
There has been some additional controversy about the claims made by an official from President Biden’s Department of Defense also on Saturday. According to the statement, there were three instances of Chinese surveillance balloons penetrating American airspace, none of them shot down, under President Trump’s term between 2017 and 2021. However, these claims were heavily disputed by multiple high-ranking figures from the Trump administration, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who claim they were never made aware of such incidents. Since then, Bloomberg cited anonymous sources from the previous administration who claim they knew about such aircraft.
However, one thing is certain: there were no news reports of such incidents at the time, even by any of the mainstream outlets that were heavily biased against Trump. Also, Fox News Digital received word from a senior official in Biden’s cabinet that the US intelligence community had discovered these three surveillance aircraft from China after President Trump left office. This contradicts Bloomberg’s reporting. Also, it raises the suspicion of the US intelligence services making deliberate efforts to make President Trump look bad. It wouldn’t be the first time the intelligence agencies do so—just think of what happened in 2016–2017 in relation to the faux ‘Russiagate’ scandal.
Biden’s Connection to Communist China
In the midst of all this, President Joe Biden’s dubious connections to China were also reiterated by right-wing outlets in the US.
Perhaps the most damning of them all is the fact that the University of Pennsylvania received millions of dollars in donations from China to create the Penn Biden Center, which opened in 2018. Coincidentally, it was at the offices of this institute where some of the mishandled classified documents from Biden’s time as Vice President were found.
On top of all this, the President’s son, Hunter Biden, has also been accused of receiving millions of dollars through shady business deals with Chinese companies, allegedly selling American influence to their Asian adversaries.