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Tipsheet

Everyone, Relax: 'Second Incident' With Chinese Spy Balloon Could Be a False Alarm

Screenshot via KSVI-TV

China dispatched a high-altitude spy balloon that penetrated US airspace last night. It hovered into Montana, which isn’t disconcerting except for the military installations, some of which hold nuclear ICBMs. Fighter jets were deployed to monitor the device, which civilians spotted on a commercial airliner. It is at an altitude that is above that of civilian air travel. Joe Biden reportedly wanted to shoot the balloon down, but the Pentagon advised against it, bringing up concerns about casualties caused by falling debris. This incident comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to visit China, a first for a top American diplomat in nearly ten years, but that’s been postponed.

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Last night, Agence France-Presse reported Canada's warning of a potential “second incident” with this spy balloon though they haven't clarified what that meant. We can guess that Canada was worried about a second balloon, but that's been refuted by US officials. Here's what AFP initially reported initially (via Barron’s/AFP): 

Canada said Thursday it was working with the United States to track a high-altitude surveillance balloon, and it was monitoring a "potential second incident." 

"A high-altitude surveillance balloon was detected and its movements are being actively tracked," Canada's defense department said in a statement. 

"Canadians are safe and Canada is taking steps to ensure the security of its airspace, including the monitoring of a potential second incident." 

"Canada's intelligence agencies are working with American partners and continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard Canada's sensitive information from foreign intelligence threats." 

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The rest of the thread bears what we’ve covered at Townhall, including China admitting that they launched a balloon, regret that it entered US airspace, Beijing calling on those not to overhype this incident, and Blinken putting his China trip on hold. The spy balloon appears to have been launched from Central China and traveled over the pole, across Canada, and into the United States.

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So, there is no second balloon but we still don't know whatever a "second incident" might have entailed. Meanwhile, the one being tracked is still floating around US airspace with impunity. What's next? 

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