The Pentagon has stated that the United States is monitoring a Chinese spy balloon that is high above the western region.
A senior defense official told reporters on Thursday that, at President Joe Biden’s request, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other high-ranking military personnel considered shooting the balloon down but decided that doing so would put too many people on the ground in danger.
The United States has “very high confidence” that the Chinese high-altitude balloon was flying over sensitive sites to collect information, according to another defense official who spoke with reporters at the Pentagon.
The Pentagon’s press secretary, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, made a brief statement about the matter, stating that the government is still following the balloon. He stated that it “does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground” and is “currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic.”
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Montana, which is home to one of the nation’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base, was one of the locations where the balloon was observed.
According to the official, Washington had been watching the balloon with manned US military aircraft ever since it entered US airspace a few days ago.
In order to discuss sensitive information, the official spoke on condition of anonymity.
Days before Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to travel to China, the Pentagon makes the announcement.
His travel plans, which the State Department has not officially announced, are unclear if this will affect them.