U.S. shared Chinese balloon info with 40 nations
STORY: U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the United States shared information it obtained about China's spy balloon with dozens of countries around the world - information the U.S. says demonstrates that it was not a weather balloon as Beijing has claimed but an airship that was used for espionage.
"We are getting more information almost by the hour as we continue to work to salvage the balloon. We're learning from that and, as well, we're learning from what we saw and picked up as the balloon traversed the United States."
The U.S. held the briefings in Washington and Beijing earlier this week about the balloon it shot down off the South Carolina coast over the weekend and presented its findings to nearly 150 foreign diplomats across 40 nations.
Blinken - who postponed a visit to China because of the incident - said Chinese spy balloons have flown over several other countries, too.
"The United States was not the only target of this broader program, which has violated the sovereignty of countries across five continents."
At the news conference with Blinken was NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said the incident confirmed a pattern of behavior exhibited by China.
"So we just have to be vigilant. We need to be aware of the constant risk of Chinese intelligence and then step up what we do to protect ourself."
The Pentagon confirmed on Wednesday that four previous Chinese spy balloons flew over the U.S. but spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder would not elaborate.
REPORTER: "Were they over what you would call sensitive sites?"
PATRICK RYDER: "They were over sites that would be of interest to the Chinese but I'm not going to go into specifics."
The Pentagon said previous balloons flew over the U.S. at least three times during the administration of Donald Trump and one previously under President Joe Biden.
"We know that they were looking to surveil strategic sites to include some of our strategic bases in the continental United States."
Ryder said U.S. Navy ships were continuing to recover the remnants of the Chinese spy balloon, which one U.S. official said was 200 feet tall with a payload underneath that weighed a couple thousand pounds.