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Local researcher on growing U.S.-China tensions after downed balloon

APTOPIX Chinese Balloon-South Carolina
U.S. Navy
This image provided by the U.S. Navy shows sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recovering a high-altitude surveillance balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Feb. 5, 2023.

The U.S. military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday afternoon, the Pentagon said, while China called the downing an overreaction.

China insisted the flyover was an accident involving a civilian aircraft and threatened repercussions. The U.S. refutes the Chinese explanation, saying the balloon was attempting to surveil strategic sites as it drifted across the country.

High-resolution imagery from U-2 flybys showed that the balloon was "capable of conducting signals intelligence collection operations," and that its equipment was "inconsistent" with that of weather balloons, NPR reports.

The Conversation talked to political economist Chris McNally from Chaminade University about Chinese-U.S. relations and where the countries may go from here.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Feb. 9, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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