U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), joined his Senate colleagues in writing a letter to President Biden calling out a constant lack of transparency related to the takedown of a Chinese spy balloon in February. In it, they expressed their growing frustration with the administration for failing to confront China’s ongoing threat.
“In your State of the Union address this year, you promised the American people that you would protect the United States from the PRC’s threats to our sovereignty. While four months have passed since a Chinese surveillance balloon was allowed to fly across the United States, your administration has yet to provide the American people a full accounting of how this spy platform was allowed to traverse across sovereign U.S. territory, what the balloon carried, and what it collected during its mission,” wrote the senators.
“Your administration has also not taken appropriate steps to hold the PRC accountable for this flagrant violation of U.S. sovereignty. As such, we urge you to immediately direct all relevant administration officials to release information, as appropriate, to the American public regarding the Chinese spy balloon,” continued the senators.
The senators also observed China’s growing belligerence since the spy balloon was identified in U.S. sovereign airspace and stated the behavior has been incentivized by the United States’ willingness to be coerced into silence.
“In addition to deploying a spy platform into U.S. territory, the PRC has conducted dangerous maneuvers against U.S. aircrafts in the South China Sea and U.S. ships navigating international waters, and continues to support Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, harass American companies operating in China, commit egregious human rights violations, all while threatening a free and democratic Taiwan. We note with grave concern how, in a recent report in The New York Times, officials in your administration acknowledged that a May 2023 PRC malware attack against Guam was “part of a vast Chinese intelligence collection effort that spans cyberspace, outer space and, as Americans discovered with the balloon incident, the lower atmosphere.” It is time that your administration fully exposes Beijing’s efforts to collect intelligence against the United States and the threats posed by such activities. As such, we urge you to release, to the American people, all appropriate information that the United States has collected regarding the Chinese spy balloon,” concluded the senators.
Joining Senator Cramer are Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Ted Budd, (R-NC), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Jim Risch (R-ID), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Lankford (R-OK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Bill Hagerty (R-TN).
Click here to read the letter.