(EFE).- The United States military has claimed to have recovered the “priority sensor and electronics pieces” of the suspected Chinese spy balloon from the Atlantic Ocean days after it shot down the flying object off the coast of South Carolina.

A US Northern Command statement said the military was “able to recover significant debris from the site, including all of the priority sensor and electronics pieces, as well as large sections of the structure” on Monday.

On Feb.4, the US military shot down a Chinese balloon carrying a metallic framework the size of several buses underneath that Washington suggested was “spying” on communications and performing other surveillance functions.

Since then, the US has downed three more flying objects, one over Lake Huron, Michigan, and two in Canada and Alaska earlier. The two governments have, so far, provided only minimal details on those operations.

Melissa Dalton, the US assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and hemispheric affairs, has said the objects were destroyed as a precaution.

The US defense department has increased surveillance of its airspace since spotting and shooting down the Chinese surveillance balloon.

China has denied the espionage allegations, saying the balloon the US military shot down a civilian airship that had deviated from its original route.

Large parts of the suspected spy balloon fell into the sea and were recovered by members of the US Navy.

Since then, the FBI has been studying the remains to assess the object’s surveillance capabilities.

But they did not have access to most of what they called the “payload” of the balloon, referring to the electronic mechanism it carried on board.

The US government has accused China of developing a military espionage program through balloons sent to 40 countries on five continents.

The Feb.4 balloon incident has strained US-China relations, prompting Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel his planned trip to Beijing. EFE

© 2023 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.


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