Chinese surveillance balloon carried antennas, other equipment to gather intelligence, U.S. says

By | February 9, 2023

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Chinese balloon that crossed the U.S. carried antennas and sensors for collecting intelligence and communications, administration officials said, laying out the most detailed evidence to date about China’s surveillance program.

The new information was described Thursday by a range of officials from the Pentagon, State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation as the Biden administration prepared to take unspecified action against companies and entities linked to the Chinese balloon program that the U.S. says has spied on more than 40 countries across five continents.

Much of the information came from tracking the balloon over eight days as it traversed the U.S. last week before being shot down off the Atlantic coast Saturday. Images captured by high-altitude U-2 surveillance planes showed that the balloon was equipped with multiple antennas, including an array likely capable of pinpointing the location of communications, a senior State Department official said.

Those U-2 and other reconnaissance flights also found that the balloon carried large solar panels capable of powering an array of intelligence collection sensors. The manufacturer of the balloon has a direct relationship with the Chinese military, the State Department official said. [Continue reading…]

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