U.S. briefs 40 nations on China surveillance balloon, reports

The U.S. reportedly demonstrated why the Chinese balloon was for espionage, not weather research as claimed by the Chinese Communist Party, during briefings in Beijing.

Updated: February 8, 2023 - 11:40am

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The U.S. has reportedly briefed foreign diplomats from 40 embassies in Washington, D.C., and Beijing about its findings on the Chinese surveillance balloon recently shot down over the Atlantic Ocean after traversing the United States. 

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman held a briefing Monday for about 150 people from 40 nations, according to The Washington Post.

Her agency also sent out "detailed information" to every U.S. embassy on espionage information that could be shared with allies. 

"We want to make sure that we are sharing as much as we can with countries around the world who may also be susceptible to these types of operations," a senior official told Reuters.

The U.S. presentation attempted to show why the Chinese balloon was for espionage, not weather research as the Chinese Communist Party has claimed, say foreign diplomats at the meetings.

"Based on the U.S. briefing, our own understanding about such balloons and the fact that China has so far refused to name the company or entity that owns this balloon, we find it hard to believe it is a civilian weather balloon," a Beijing-based Asian defense diplomat said.