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Kirby: U.S. Has No Plans On Returning Spy Balloon Debris To China



On Friday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the United States has no plans to return the debris from the downed Chinese spy balloon to back to China. 

“China is claiming ownership of the balloon,” a reporter said. “And China said that they will take leader action.”

“Will you send the balloon back to China?” the reporter asked.

“There are no plans to send the debris that we are recovering back to China.  We’re going to pull it up off the bottom of the wa- — off the ocean, and we’re going to learn more about this capability,” Kirby responded.

Earlier this month, a Chinese spy balloon was detected hovering above the United States. 

“The United States Government has detected and is tracking a high altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson, said in a statement. “The U.S. government, to include NORAD, continues to track and monitor it closely. The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”

The Biden adminstration shot down the Chinese spy balloon a week after it was detected and after it had fully traversed the United States. 

“U.S. fighter aircraft assigned to U.S. Northern Command successfully brought down the high altitude surveillance balloon launched by and belonging to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over the water off the coast of South Carolina in U.S. airspace,” Ryder said in a separate statement. “The balloon, which was being used by the PRC in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters.”

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