The United States recovered the first debris from the Chinese balloon shot down on Saturday, a White House spokesman said Monday, adding that there was no question of returning them to China.
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Teams deployed off the coast of South Carolina, in the southeast of the country, “recovered some debris from the surface of the sea,” said John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council of the executive. American, during an interview with the press.
He specified that the “weather conditions” had not allowed so far to carry out underwater recovery operations.
John Kirby also indicated that the United States did not “intend to return” the debris collected to China.
While US President Joe Biden is criticized by the Republican opposition for having, according to them, taken too long to shoot down the device, the spokesperson assured that this delay had given Americans “a tremendous opportunity to better understand and ‘study’ the balloon, waiting for the debris to deliver further information.
He also assured that the United States had “taken measures to limit the collection capabilities (data) that this balloon would have had above our sensitive military sites.”
Finally, John Kirby said that the Biden administration had “contacted senior officials from the previous administration and offered them briefings” about the Chinese balloon overflights that took place while Donald Trump was president.
According to the Pentagon, Chinese balloons flew over American territory three times, for brief periods, during the presidency of Donald Trump, and once, also for a short time, at the start of Joe Biden’s mandate.
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