February 16, 2023

Before They Floated Abroad, China’s Spy Balloons Were Already Used at Home

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist: Lily Kuo

In 2018, the Academy of Opto-Electronics organized the China Aerostat Conference in Beijing with the theme of “military-civilian integration”; in 2017, the academy attended a near space summit aimed at fusing military and civilian technologies, according a summary in state media.

Those links underline why so few Western officials believe Beijing’s claims that Chinese balloons detected abroad are not intended for spying.

“Even if meteorological data was part of the types of information it would be gathering, I’m not sure we really believe that explanation, given the integration between civilian and military bureaucracies and agencies in China,” said Jacob Stokes, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

Read the full story and more from The Washington Post.


  • Jacob Stokes

    Senior Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Jacob Stokes is a Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS, where his work focuses on U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign and military policy, East Asian ...