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    HomeWorldPentagon: China's Conducted Spy Balloon Program for Years

    Pentagon: China’s Conducted Spy Balloon Program for Years

    Pentagon: China’s Conducted Spy Balloon Program for Years

    — The Chinese balloon shot down off the South Carolina coast was part of a large surveillance program that has been conducting for “several years,” the Pentagon said Wednesday.

    When similar balloons passed over U.S. territory on four occasions during the Trump and Biden administrations, the U.S. did not immediately identify them as Chinese surveillance balloons, said Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary. But he said “subsequent intelligence analysis” allowed the U.S. to confirm they were part of a Chinese spying effort and learn “a lot more” about the program.

    He refused to provide any new details about those previous balloons. When pressed, Ryder would only say that the balloons flew over “sites that would be of interest to the Chinese.”

    One of the possible incidents was last February.

    Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, the adjutant general in Hawaii, tweeted about a balloon over Kauai a year ago. He said U.S. Indo-Pacific Command “detected a high-altitude object floating in in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands” and sent up aircraft to intercept it. He said they visually confirmed it was an unmanned balloon with no identification markings.

    Ryder declined to say whether this was one of the four previous incidents that the U.S. had discussed. Pacific Air Forces, the Air command in the Indo-Pacific, said that balloon was not shot down.

    The recent balloon was…

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