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Chinese surveillance balloon may trigger US ‘action’ against Beijing: Official

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(WASHINGTON) — A State Department official said Thursday that the U.S. is looking into taking action against China for the surveillance balloons sent into American skies.

The official said Washington is considering “taking action against PRC (People’s Republic of China) entities linked to the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) that supported the balloon’s incursion into U.S. airspace” as well as “broader efforts to expose and address the PRC’s larger surveillance activities that pose a threat to our national security, and to our allies and partners.”

The official reiterated the administration’s argument that shooting down the balloon spotted over the U.S. last week “sent a clear message to China.”

Beijing was caught red-handed, the official said, and now is flailing as it tries try to string together excuses.

“From the PRC’s messaging and public comments, it’s clear that they have been scrambling to explain why they violated U.S. sovereignty and still have no plausible explanation – and have found themselves on their heels,” the official said. “As we saw with the second balloon over Central and South America that they just acknowledged, they also have no explanation for why they violated the airspace of Central and South American countries. The PRC’s program will only continue to be exposed, making it harder for the PRC to use this program.”

The comments come as all members of Congress were getting classified briefings on the balloon and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was set to testify on U.S.-China relations before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday revealed that the U.S. assesses the alleged Chinese spy balloon shot down over the weekend was part of an expansive surveillance program aimed at gathering intelligence from targets around the globe.

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