Chinese Spy Balloon: Why does it exist?

“Weather” or NOT?


William Du, Contibuting Writer


News of a Chinese spy balloon floating over the US has created an international stir, especially among Americans, with many asking why Beijing would choose such an old-fashioned approach to spying on its superpower competitor. Although the details on this balloon incident remain unclear, the US government has evidently perceived this particular encroachment as a serious enough threat to delay Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned visit to China. This decision signals that the US is taking a firm stance to address perceived aggression from China, and is seemingly determined not to be deterred by political provocation. While many other governments have also expressed concern over Beijing’s military activities in East Asia, Washington continues to take definitive action to protect its interests in the region – now delivering a poignant statement with this latest controversy,

While a number of sophisticated tools are available for surveillance, the method chosen by China is likely due to its reliability and affordability. The Chinese likely feel that the benefit of having “an eye in the sky” outweights any technological drawbacks, as their balloons offer a cost-effective way to keep tabs on US activity while avoiding suspicion from more traditional surveillance methods. Despite some outcry, it looks as though China’s balloons will continue to provide information as long as they’re able to stay up in the sky.

While tensions between China and the United States have grown over the last few years, there is one point on which both countries fiercely disagree. China maintains a large surveillance balloon floating above US airspace is merely a civilian research airship, while US officials insist the device is intended for widespread spying activities. The situation has come to a head and neither side is willing to back down, leaving this controversy between two major superpowers in a tense state of static tension. Both nations are working hard to convince each other their opinions are correct – only time will tell which view will prevail in this fascinating geopolitical dispute.