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3 objects US shot down were not likely to be spy devices: Biden

Washington: The Intelligence Community has no indication that the three objects that were shot down in the past days were the surveillance craft from China, United States President Joe Biden said on Thursday.
Biden added that he expects to talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Delivering remarks on the United States' response to recent aerial objects, Biden said, "The Intelligence Community's current assessment is that these 3 objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research."
The US shot down the giant balloon, which China claimed to be a civilian airship used for research mainly meteorological, on February 4 after it hovered over the country for a week.
"I want to be clear, we don't have any evidence that there's been a sudden increase in the number of objects in the sky. We're now just seeing more of them partially because of the steps we've taken to increase our radars," he added.
Biden further stated that all those 3 objects can be related to the Chinese spy balloon program or they were surveillance vehicles from any other country.
He suggested that he is not going to shoot down every weather balloon that the US sees but will watch out for future spy balloons.
"Make no mistake, if any object presents a threat to the safety, and security of the American people, I will take it down," US President added.
Biden suggests the newest objects were not part of a foreign spying program. "The three objects are most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions, studying weather or conducting other scientific research," he said.
The United States is not looking for a "new Cold War" with China. "We'll also continue to engage with China, as we have through the past two weeks," Biden said adding that US diplomats will stay in touch with Chinese counterparts, and he will speak at some point with Xi Jinping, China's leader.
Biden also made clear that in the future the procedure for taking down unknown objects will be classified, but will be shared with Congress. Earlier, members of Congress were critical of the White House for not sharing more information about the Chinese spy balloon program more quickly. (ANI)

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