Feb 4, 2023 - World

Top Armed Services Democrat: China "embarrassed" by balloon incident

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) speaks during a meeting of the House Committee on Rules at the U.S. Capitol on July 12, 2022. Photo: Oliver Contreras/AFP

The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said Saturday that the high-altitude balloon flying over the U.S. this week that came from China is "embarrassing" for Beijing.

The big picture: The Pentagon has accused China of using the balloon to collect information on sensitive military sites. China has denied those allegations and said the balloon is a civilian airship for "mainly meteorological" purposes.

What they're saying: "I think China's very embarrassed by this," Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said on Fox News.

  • Smith said the balloon was not a "particularly effective" spying tool since the U.S. is familiar with the technology and the balloon wouldn't capture something satellites couldn't see.
  • "It's never a positive thing to have your spying efforts exposed to the globe. So it's not a positive for China in any way, shape or form," he added.

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