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American Technology Found in Chinese Spy Balloon Debris

the Chinese spy balloons captured images and video surveillance using American technology, US officials reported on Thursday. The balloon, which was shot down off the coast of South Carolina earlier this year, likely didn’t transmit the information back to the Chinese government based on a preliminary investigation, although the investigation is still ongoing.

in Februarythe Chinese government denied the balloon was intended for surveillance, claiming instead that it was a weather balloon that had blown off course. But when the US military retrieved the debrisit found technology suitable for capturing information from the ground including tools that are designed to gather and transmit data.

that technology has now been identified as commercially available in the US, with some of the technology readily available online, officials told the Wall Street Journal. The gear found in the debris supported the government’s belief that the balloon was intended to spy on the US and contradicted China’s claims that it was used for weather monitoring.

The latest reports that the balloon did not transmit valuable information to China contradicting an earlier piece by NBC in April which stated that sensitive military information was transmitted by the spy balloon overseas. The outlet cited two unnamed senior US officials and one unnamed former senior administration official, who reportedly said the balloon passed over multiple military sites and sent real-time information back to Beijing despite the Biden Administration’s best efforts to prevent it.

At the time of its discoverythe US military had moved potential targets to stop the balloon from picking up electronic signalsand Pentagon officials issued a statement in February, they were days before the balloon was shot down, saying it didn’t believe the balloon was able to capture sensitive information. “We assess that this balloon has limited additive value from an intelligence collection perspective,” officials said. “But we are taking steps, nevertheless, to protect against foreign intelligence collection of sensitive information.”

The new findings now seem to mirror the statement, as unnamed officials told the WSJ that Beijing had not obtained any information, but did not tell the outlet whether the balloon had malfunctioned or if the US military’s quick reaction prevented it from collecting data. Beijing has warned that it will be forced to take extreme action if the US government releases its

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Chinese ‘spy’ balloon used American technology

HONG KONG — The suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States early this year used commercially available, off-the-shelf technology that was American-made, according to three US officials familiar with preliminary findings by the FBI.

The officials said the Biden administration first suspected the balloon could be carrying US-made equipment or parts within the first hours after it was detected and that it had sent aircraft to check it out and take photos. They said those suspicions had been confirmed by analysis of debris that was recovered after the balloon was shot down by the US military Feb. 4.

The Biden administration tracked the balloon for eight days as it traveled across Alaska, Canada and the continental US, including over sensitive military sites, before it was downed by a fighter jet off the coast of South Carolina. The results of the analysis by the FBI and other defense and intelligence agencies have not yet been publicly released.

The balloon incident further destabilized relations between the US and China, the world’s two largest economies, and led Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone a planned trip to Beijing until this month.

China maintains that the balloon was a civilian airship that strayed off course while conducting meteorological research and that the US overreacted by shooting it down.

“The unmanned civilian airship drifting over the United States was an accidental incident caused by force majeure, and the claim that the balloon was a spy balloon, as well as gathering intelligence, is a complete smear against China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Friday.

The presence of US technology on the balloon, which President Joe Biden has described as carrying “two boxcars full of spy equipment,” was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

News of the findings came as Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned that Chinese aggression could inadvertently lead to war.

“If you look at the history of war, there are plenty of wars out of accidents, out of inadvertent accidents,” Wu told NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel in an interview Thursday.

He added that his country had inspired Ukrainian forces battling a much larger Russian enemy.

“We have seen the very brave Ukrainian soldiers defending their freedom, defending their sovereignty and that is something we want to learn,” he said.

China claims the self-ruling democracy, which

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