The United States is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon.

The United States is on the lookout for a possible Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted flying over sensitive sites in recent days.

According to defense officials, the “high-altitude surveillance balloon” belonged to China. It was most recently seen above Montana in the west.

However, military leaders decided not to shoot it down due to concerns about falling debris.

China has yet to respond.

The situation has been briefed to US President Joe Biden.

According to officials, the object flew over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and through Canada before appearing over Billings, Montana, on Wednesday.

According to a senior defense official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the government had fighter jets, including F-22s, ready in case the White House ordered the object to be shot down.
Top military leaders, including Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley, met on Wednesday to assess the threat. Mr. Austin was in the Philippines at the time.

However, they advised against taking “kinetic action” against the balloon due to the risk of falling debris to people on the ground.

Montana, a sparsely populated state, is home to one of the country’s only three nuclear missile silo fields, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, and officials said the apparent spy plane was flying over sensitive sites to gather information.

The defence official, however, said there was no “significantly enhanced threat” of US intelligence being compromised because American officials “know exactly where this balloon is and exactly where it’s passing over”.

He also stated that there was no danger to civilian aviation because the balloon was “significantly” higher than the altitude used by commercial airlines.

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