Biden: Chinese Spy Balloon ‘Not a Major Breach’ of US Airspace

During a recent interview with Noticias Telemundo, President Joe Biden addressed concerns about the Chinese spy balloon that had traversed the United States. He said that he had no regrets that it hadn’t been shot down sooner and considered the incident not to be a “major breach”.

Biden acknowledged that there had been concern from the Intelligence Community over potential damage the balloon could have caused if it fell in an unlikely place such as a rural area school. In response to this potential risk, he said: “As soon as they could shoot it down, shoot it down”. It was ultimately taken out of commission over water, and most parts were recovered safely. Biden expressed that sound judgement had been used in handling this situation.

Despite only recovering a small amount of wreckage from the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4, the FBI has yet to uncover its exact capabilities. This raised the question of how significant a security breach this incident had been for the United States. However, President Joe Biden weighed in and disagreed with this assessment.

“No. The total amount of intelligence gathering that’s going on with every country around the world is overwhelming,” said Biden. “And the idea that a balloon could traverse…break American airspace is…anyway, it’s not a major breach.”

President Joe Biden has been criticized by some lawmakers for not having ordered the shoot-down of the Chinese spy balloon as soon as it entered U.S. airspace. However, he noted that it is a violation of international law to fly in U.S. air space and elucidated why a swift decision had to be taken in this case.

“I mean, look, it’s totally…it’s a violation of international law,” said Biden. “It’s our airspace. And once it comes into our space, we can do what we want with it.”

The President explained that his main concern was that if the balloon were shot down over land, then there was potential for it to fall into populated areas, causing significant damage or even loss of life. Thus, he gave instructions for the balloon to be brought down over water as soon as possible and pointed out that doing so had proved successful given the amount of debris recovered from the crash site after the fact.