Biden administration tries to bring international attention to scope of Chinese surveillance program

China accused the U.S. of indiscriminate use of force after it shot down a suspected spy balloon on Saturday. The Pentagon said the balloon flew over sensitive sites over the past week. Beijing said it was a civilian aircraft that blew off course. Photo: Mark R Cristino/Shutterstock

China has operated a fleet of high-altitude balloons, like the one shot down by the Air Force, to carry out surveillance on five continents, the Biden administration said, as it tries to bring international attention to the scope of Beijing’s program.

Administration officials embarked on a series of briefings about the balloon with allies and partners, officials said. Those briefings draw on “what we’ve learned based on our careful observation of the system when it was in our airspace,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.

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