FBI investigates origin of Chinese spy balloon

On Saturday, a Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina in U.S. airspace. According to a classified briefing provided to members of Congress on Thursday, the balloon contained Western-made parts with English writing. U.S. military and federal agencies have been working to recover the wreckage, and are hindered by the forecast of heavier seas.

The State Department has indicated a connection between the manufacturer of the balloon and the Chinese military, and is currently exploring potential sanctions on entities related to the Chinese spy balloon program. The FBI is processing the debris collected from the one square mile area at its laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. It remains unclear how much of the balloon contained Western-made parts, or which components those consisted of, and the FBI has yet to comment on the investigation.

The incident has raised questions about the potential of U.S. companies providing materials used by China to construct the balloon, as noted by Sens. Josh Hawley and Dan Sullivan. As the recovery effort continues, further details about the balloon's origins and components may be revealed.


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