The U.S. briefed 40 nations on the China spy balloon incident.

A senior administration official and diplomats said on Tuesday, The US held briefings in Washington and Beijing with foreign diplomats from 40 nations regarding the spy balloon belonging to China that entered U.S. airspace in late January.

Wendy Sherman, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State briefed nearly 150 foreign diplomats from across 40 embassies on Monday, as said by the official. The briefing took place while the U.S. embassy gathered foreign diplomats on Monday and Tuesday in Beijing to present the findings about the spy balloon.

“We want to make sure that we are sharing as much as we can with countries around the world who may also be susceptible to these types of operations,” the senior administration official said.


The Washington Post first reported the briefing. There was no immediate response from the U.S. State Department when requested.

The Chinese spy balloon’s appearance over the US last week caused political outrage in Washington and made the US Secretary of State cancel a trip to Beijing that was hoped to patch the frayed relations between both countries.

 The balloon was shot down, a week after it first entered U.S. airspace, by a U.S. Air Force fighter jet off the South Carolina coast on Saturday.

China didn’t agree with the allegations made by the U.S. and said it was a weather balloon that got blown off course in an “unexpected, isolated incident” and entered U.S. airspace. China condemned the shoot-down and accused the US of overreacting.

The official added, The State Department also sent U.S. missions around the world with information about the spy balloon incident to aware the allies and partners.

The diplomats who attended the discussion in Beijing said, the US presented information in the briefings, demonstrating that the balloon was not a weather research balloon as claimed by Beijing but an airship used for espionage.

Washington said the balloon was controlled by the Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army.

The diplomats who attended the Beijing briefing said they were informed that the solar panels on the balloon implemented that it needed more power than a weather balloon and it flight path did not conform with natural wind patterns. The balloon was also equipped with rudders and propellers, the U.S. official said.

“Based on the U.S. briefing, our own understanding about such balloons and the fact that China has so far refused to name the company or entity that owns this balloon, we find it hard to believe it is a civilian weather balloon,” said a Beijing-based Asian defence diplomat.

The information was like what the Pentagon has shared with the reporters since the weekend, saying the balloons were integral with Chinese aerial fleet and violated the sovereignty of other countries.

The Washington Post reported that although analysts still aren’t aware of the size of the balloon fleet, one US official said since 2018, there have been dozens of missions and the balloons use a technology provided by a private Chinese company.

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