Colombia releases information on second Chinese balloon

Colombian officials have released more information about what is believed to be a second Chinese spy balloon after it was sighted over Latin America.

Sightings of mysterious Chinese balloons have alarmed governments across America since one was first spotted over the continental US in late January.

On the morning of February 3, the Colombian Air Force said it had spotted an object at over 55,000 feet after it entered the country’s airspace.

The Air Force said on February 4 that an object with “properties similar to a balloon” is over the “northern sector of the country and is mobilizing at an average speed of 25 knots.”

A member of the Colombian Air Force
A soldier is seen during the Hero’s Day ceremony in Bogotá, Colombia, July 19, 2022. Colombian officials have shared more information about a suspected Chinese spy balloon.

It continued: “Through defense systems, the Colombian Air Force tracked the object until it disappeared [Colombian] Airspace. In this way, it was determined that it posed no threat to national security and defense or to aviation safety.”

Investigations were carried out to determine the origin of the object.

While Chinese business opportunities in Colombia have expanded in recent years, the country reportedly does not have strong political ties with Beijing.

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “Colombia’s political and security relationship with the PRC [People’s Republic of China] was limited.

“This arguably reflects Bogotá’s perception that deepening political and security ties with the PRC could damage its close and important relationship with the United States.

“Despite the perception that the PRC poses more of a trade threat than an opportunity, the presence of Chinese companies and their agents in the country has expanded remarkably.”

Pentagon officials confirmed Friday they knew another balloon was flying over America.

Images shared on Twitter appeared to show the second balloon flying over Colombia and Venezuela.

A Chinese spy balloon sighted over the US has been brought down off the coast of South Carolina.

While President Joe Biden gave clearance for the launch on Wednesday, a decision was made to delay launching the balloon until it posed a lesser risk to the public.

A Pentagon press release on Feb. 4 said, “Military commanders had determined that launching the balloon over land posed an unreasonable risk to people in a wide area due to the size and altitude of the balloon and its surveillance payload.”

The Pentagon said China launched the balloon to monitor strategic US locations

Accordingly The Washington PostOfficials have said it’s highly likely a third Chinese spy balloon is operating somewhere, but gave no further details.

Chinese officials and state media have responded with criticism and anger at the US response to the balloon.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry described it as a “civilian airship” used primarily to monitor the weather, an explanation rejected by the Biden administration.

US-China relations are strained after Beijing’s provocations towards Taiwan, which it considers part of its sovereignty. Taiwan itself firmly denies such claims.

The spy balloon has further eroded ties, prompting Secretary of State Antony Blinken to announce he has canceled a trip to Beijing that would have been the first high-level meeting between the US and China in years.

Biden has come under fire from his critics for his handling of the spy balloon issue, and Republican senators took to Twitter to express disappointment at his decision not to shoot down the balloon sooner.

Republican Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn tweeted Friday: “First shoot down the Chinese spy balloon over the United States.

“Second, shoot the one over Latin America. Third, rebuild our military to stop China’s global domination.”

news week has reached out to the White House for comment. Colombia releases information on second Chinese balloon

Rick Schindler

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