Pentagon Concerned about Chinese Spy Balloon over Western U.S.



A senior defense official told reporters the Pentagon has “very high confidence” that a Chinese spy balloon has been flying high over the western U.S., gathering sensitive information. The Pentagon says it can’t confirm if a viral photo of a balloon taken over Montana, not far from a nuclear missile site, is the spy balloon. The news comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. Here’s what you need to know.


The U.S. announcement on Wednesday that it will expand its military presence in the Philippines to four new bases and bolster five existing ones is a major advancement in the Defense Department’s goal to counter a rising threat from China in the Indo-Pacific region.

A boost of American military troops and resources in the Philippines would come amid a rapid Chinese military expansion in the South China Sea. The expanded U.S. presence could serve as a deterrence against Beijing’s threats to Taiwan.

It’s not clear exactly where the new bases will be.

The U.S. has sought access to camps in the northern and western parts of the Philippines, including those in the northern tip of Luzon that would lie just across a sea border from Taiwan.

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