The White House on February 13, 2023 denied Beijing’s accusation that the United States has been sending balloons over China to conduct surveillance, as tensions about espionage rise between the two superpowers.
“Any claim that the U.S. government operates surveillance balloons over the PRC is false,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said on Twitter.
“It is China that has a high-altitude surveillance balloon program for intelligence collection, that it has used to violate the sovereignty of the U.S. and over 40 countries across 5 continents.”
The State Department responded with a similar rejection, and called Beijing’s accusation “the latest example of China scrambling to do damage control.”
“It has repeatedly and wrongly claimed the surveillance balloon it sent over the United States was a weather balloon and to this day has failed to offer any credible explanations for its intrusion into our airspace and the airspace of others,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.