The United States Navy published the photos of the remains recovered in the ocean from the Chinese spy balloon
China says it was a roving weather-observing device with no military purpose, but the US calls it a high-altitude spy vehicle
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Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recover the Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down by the United States over the weekend over U.S. territorial waters off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA, May 5. February 2023. US Fleet Forces/US Navy Photo/Handout via REUTERS
The United States Navy released photos of the recovery on Tuesday at the Atlantic Ocean from the wreckage of the Chinese spy balloon, which was shot down on Saturday by a US fighter off the coast of South Carolina.
Navy photos, released by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS), show sailors removing the remains of the balloon.
The teams deployed off the coast South Carolina (southeast) “recovered some debris from the surface of the sea,” John Kirby, spokesman for the US National Security Council, told reporters.
Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recover the Chinese surveillance balloon. US Fleet Forces/US Navy Photo/Handout via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
He added that “weather conditions” have not allowed underwater operations to recover more.
According to him, the United States “has no intention or plans to return” the remains to the Chinese authorities.
A United States Navy ship inspected the area where the remains of the balloon fell, which was about 60 meters high and was carrying a kind of basket weighing more than a ton, said General Glen VanHerck, head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
US Navy sailors recover the remains of the Chinese spy balloon. U.S. Fleet Forces/U.S. Navy photo/Handout via REUTERS
Republicans are criticizing US President Joe Biden for taking too long to tear down the device.
But Kirby said the delay was because it was an occasion to examine the globe, and that they hope the remains provide more information.
He also said that The United States has “taken steps to mitigate the ability of this globe to collect (data) on sensitive military sites.”
US Navy in the task of recovering the remains of the spy balloon. Fleet Forces/U.S. Navy photo/Handout via REUTERS
China claims it was a roving weather observation balloon with no military purpose, but the US calls it a high-altitude spy vehicle. A second Chinese balloon was detected over the weekend flying over Latin America.
What happened does not seem to surprise Biden. “The issue of the globe and the attempt to spy on the United States is something that is anticipated from China,” he said, specifying that “it is not about trusting China, it is about deciding what we can work on together and what (issues) we are in opposition.”
According to Kirby, the administration contacted officials in the previous administration for information about Chinese balloon flyovers while Donald Trump was president.
Remains of a Chinese spy balloon. US Navy via EPA-EFE
Chinese balloons flew over US territory three times, for brief periods, during the Trump presidency, and once, also briefly, at the start of Biden's term, it says The Pentagon.
Since the shooting down, the United States has been in contact with Chinese authorities, State Department spokesman Ned Price said, but there was no talk of rescheduling Chinese diplomacy chief Antony Blinken's trip to China. postponed due to balloon incident.
“Even in these tense times, we want to be able to pick up the phone and talk,” he told reporters.
The Biden administration is also in contact with allies to let them know what it knows about the Chinese spy balloon.
After days of flying over the country, the United States shot down the device
Spy balloon shot down
With a single missile fired from a F-22 Raptor military plane, the craft was shot down on Saturday at 2:39 p.m. (local time), shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration ordered the temporary closure of flights at airports in Wilmington, North Carolina, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Charleston.
President Joe Biden congratulated the F-22 pilots for shooting down in the airspace and over the territorial waters of the United States the aerostat, which had been flying over the country for several days.
“Today's deliberate and lawful action demonstrates that President Biden and his national security team will always put the security of the American people first and will respond effectively to the People's Republic of China's unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” he told his office. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
The F-22 was operating at an altitude of 17,700 meters when it sent the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile to the balloon, which was hovering among 18,000 at 20,000 meters, making the system plummeting into plummeting waters miles offshore, a senior US defense official said over the weekend.