China's balloon over the U.S. seen as bold but clumsy espionage tactic
China's flight of a suspected surveillance balloon over the United States appears to mark a more aggressive - albeit puzzling - espionage tactic than relying on satellites and the theft of industrial and defense secrets, security experts said.
Both the United States and China have for decades used surveillance satellites to keep an eye on each other from the air. But China's recent balloons - a White House official said this week's episode was not the first - have some in Washington scratching their heads.
"In a way, it's more amateurish," said former White House national security adviser John Bolton. "Do the cameras in their satellites not have high enough resolution that they have to send a balloon over?"
The uproar over the balloon comes as China has been building up its military capabilities and challenging America's military presence in the Pacific. The United States also believes Beijing routinely seeks to capture proprietary information and knowledge from U.S. companies.