US briefed 40 nations on China spy balloon incident, officials say


Senior administration officials and diplomats said on Tuesday that the US briefed foreign diplomats from 40 countries in Washington and Beijing about the Chinese surveillance balloon that violated US airspace in late January.

The US embassy in Beijing assembled international diplomats on Monday and Tuesday to convey US findings concerning the balloon, while US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met almost 150 foreign diplomats from 40 embassies on Monday, according to the official.

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

The Washington Post broke the news of Sherman’s briefing and cited US officials as claiming that the spy balloon was part of a large-scale military surveillance operation centred on China’s Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

While the scale of the Chinese balloon fleet is still unknown to analysts, US authorities have mentioned hundreds of operations that have been carried out since 2018 across five continents, some of which have targeted Japan, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

An inquiry for comments was not immediately answered by the US State Department.

According to sources, Chinese military researchers recently advocated in publicly accessible documents that balloons and airships should be developed further and used for a variety of missions.