Washington, February 7 (Agency)
The US on Monday refused to return the remains of China’s spy balloon to it. This balloon was shot down on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in South Carolina on Saturday. The White House said based on initial information about the balloon that it was a spy balloon. Officials said that it violated international rules and sovereignty of countries. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US military recovered some remains from the sea and they are still searching the sea for them.
Before the balloon was shot down by a fighter jet on Saturday, Kirby said a lot of important information had been gathered about it. According to Northern Command Commander General Glenn Vanherk, the balloon was at an altitude of 200 feet. It carried a payload of several thousand pounds, typically the size of a regional jet aircraft. White House Press Secretary Karin Jean Pierre said that President Joe Biden has directed the military, intelligence community to collect information about the balloon so that they can learn more about China’s capabilities. State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that China knew what it was. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the US has ‘increased surveillance in its territory’ since Biden took office. We have improved our ability to detect things which were not there in the previous Donald Trump’s administration. Several officials during the Trump administration have said that they had no knowledge of the Chinese balloon during their tenure.