• Sat. Mar 25th, 2023

Australia seeks answers from US

ByGurinderbir Singh

Feb 13, 2023

Defence Minister Richard Marles has said he was unaware of any such Chinese surveillance devices flying across Australian skies.

A Defence Department spokesperson declined to comment.

At Senate estimates committee hearings on Monday, Liberal senator Alex Antic asked Australian Security Intelligence Organisation director-general Mike Burgess about “the incursion of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] spy balloon over the United States” and whether ASIO was aware of any similar incursions or attempted incursions over Australia.

Burgess said he did not comment on operational matters but added: “In my experience that is not the principal means by which people are spying on this country.”

On Monday, a US F-16 fighter jet shot down an unidentified object that was shaped like an octagon and flew at an altitude of 20,000 feet (6100 metres) over Lake Huron in Michigan near the Canadian border.

The US military also shot an object about the size of a small car over the coast of Alaska “out of an abundance of caution” on Friday, while another was destroyed over Canada’s Yukon on Saturday.


US President Joe Biden said over the weekend that the Chinese balloon was a violation of international law but not a major breach of national security.

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