The US has released the information which they managed to acquire from the collected Chinese weather balloon, which was under suspicion of spying over the country. The weather balloon was around 200 ft or 60 meters tall. It was shot down by US Defense officials on Saturday after talking with Chinese officials. Besides its massive size, the balloon was also carrying a significantly massive load. Based on these conditions, the decision of US Defense officials to not shoot down the balloon when it was first observed seemed more plausible. Gen VanHerck, one of the top US Defense officials, said that they are still investigating the fallen debris as it may contain explosives or battery components.
The Chinese weather balloon was suspected of spying as it was seen roaming over sensitive places in the State of Montana. After continuously tracking the balloon along with its trajectory, the US Defense officials shot down the balloon near the coast of South Carolina. The US Defense officials have managed to procure the fallen weather balloon and its load. But a significant amount of debris is yet to recover as after shooting the balloon down, the debris scattered over a large area. The operation of shooting down the Chinese weather balloon was carried out by the US F-22 fighter jets. John Kirby, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said that they have managed to collect some remaining parts, but the bad weather conditions have prevented the team from further collecting the remaining debris. The US Defense officials have also made it clear that there are not any plans of returning the debris to China, as the officials have planned the analysis of debris by Intelligence experts. Gen VanHerck said that a team of specialists and an oceanographic survey ship with the capability to map the ocean floor using sonar have been sent to the location.
However, this situation has caused a political debate in the country as the Republicans have cornered the US President, Joe Biden. Republicans believe that President Biden relinquished his duties by allowing the Chinese weather balloon to traverse through the country, especially after it was suspected of spying. Along with internal political issues, the balloon also caused a threat to the relationship between the US and China. This week, Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, was scheduled to visit China to bridge the gap between the US and China and strengthen their relationship. Chinese President Xi Jinping was also rumored to meet with the US Diplomat. But because of this Spy balloon saga, this visit has been officially canceled and the plans to strengthen the relationship between the two countries have been shelved for now.
The decision by the US to shoot down the weather balloon was heavily criticized by Chinese officials. China said that the US deliberately used "indiscriminate force" to down the balloon. Earlier, when China was asked about the Weather balloon, the country said that it accidentally lost its dedicated trajectory and might have traveled to the US. The country also said that the US officials and the US media are paying too much attention to the situation as it is simply a weather balloon.