United States government officials have confirmed that a third Chinese spy balloon has been identified in the skies but are refusing to reveal the craft’s location.
The news comes after the U.S. military used an F-22 Raptor to take out a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, as Slay News reported.
The U.S. Air Force used a single air-to-air AIM-9X sidewinder missile fired at an altitude of approximately 58,000 feet to down the balloon.
The decision to shoot down the spy balloon came after Democrat President Joe Biden allowed it to fly thousands of miles over the continental U.S. during the last several days.
The Pentagon admitted in a statement that the Biden administration was aware that the balloon was gathering data but didn’t reveal what information it was collecting.
The Washington Post reported that the U.S. officials have identified “a third operating elsewhere,” but they declined to give the balloon’s location.
An official told the Post that Beijing was embarrassed by the incident.
“They’re in a very tough place,” the official said.
“And they have very few cards to play right now.”
The second Chinese spy balloon was detected over South America earlier this week, according to U.S. military officials.
“We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America,” Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement.
“We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon.”
China was furious after the balloon was shot down, claiming that it was “a clear overreaction and a serious violation of international practice,” and that it reserves “the right to make further responses if necessary.”
“China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and protest against the US’s use of force to attack civilian unmanned aircraft,” a statement said.
“The Chinese side has repeatedly informed the US side after verification that the airship is for civilian use and entered the US due to force majeure – it was completely an accident.”
“China clearly asked the US to handle it properly in a calm, professional, and restrained manner.
“A spokesman for the US Department of Defense also stated that the balloon will not pose a military or personal threat to ground personnel.
“China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of relevant companies while reserving the right to make further necessary reaction,” the Chinese concluded.