US global leader in spying on countries: Chinese FM
Beijing refuses US allegations regarding the alleged surveillance balloon, stressing the idea that the USA has spied on major countries for their benefit.
A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, said on Tuesday that the United States is the world’s leader in spying on other countries, including European allies, for personal gain.
"In regard to government surveillance, we would like to point out that the US is the number one country in the world, and the international community, including Europe, has personal experience in this matter," he said at a regular briefing.
Wang continues by explaining that the US military has invested billions of dollars into the research and development of high-end reconnaissance balloons since the year 1997. He adds that the Pentagon converted the usage of these balloons for military use last year.
The diplomat specified that these balloons are now capable of carrying surveillance equipment used for tracking hypersonic strategic Russian and Chinese cruise missiles.
As such, the US ended up with the “largest spy network in the world”, said the spokesman. Moreover, the US has already spied on calls and messages to and from leaders of European allies, such as Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and others.
This February, the United States announced that it detected and shot down a total of four unidentified flying objects. This includes the alleged Chinese surveillance balloon which in the view of the US, was engineered to gather information about sensitive military sites in the country.
Beijing has stated otherwise; the balloon was a mere meteorological device that accidentally entered Canadian and American airspace while expressing protest over the Pentagon’s decision to shoot it down.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry pointed out that since January 2022, several US balloons have already violated China’s airspace more than 10 times.