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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Ballooning Tensions

Chinese officials announced sanctions yesterday against Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missiles and Defense over the sale of military and defense technology to Taiwan. While not explicitly linked, it marks the latest escalation of tensions between China and the US since a Chinese surveillance balloon traversed the US earlier this month.

Reports now suggest US officials had been tracking the initial spy balloon since its liftoff from China's Hainan Island in late January. Officials said the craft was likely meant to surveil military installations in Guam and Hawaii before being blown off course, appearing over Alaska's Aleutian Islands Jan. 28 before crossing the US. The balloon was eventually shot down off the South Carolina coast; three other objects downed in the following days were determined as likely for commercial or private research purposes. Both countries have now publicly accused each other of operating vast balloon surveillance networks for years.

Check out this visual deep dive into what else is floating through the skies.

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