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China's U.S. balloon flight was a signal of its war preparations

Airships could serve as backup reconnaissance for Beijing's ICBMs

| China
China's suspected spy balloon drifts downward off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4 after being fired on.    © Reuters

James Char is a research fellow with the China program of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

China's "spy balloon" may be gone from U.S. skies, but many issues remain to be sorted in the aftermath of its violent takedown by a heat-seeking missile fired from one of the world's most advanced fighter jets.

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