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Rubio Discusses Chinese Spy Balloon on The Mike Gallagher Show

Feb 3, 2023 | Press Releases

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined The Mike Gallagher Show to discuss the latest on the Chinese spy balloon operating in American airspace. A transcript is below. 
On the Chinese spy balloon:
“This is not complicated technology, but it’s ingenious in the sense that they [the Chinese Communist Party] can argue, ‘Well, that’s just a balloon, and we put it up in the atmosphere to monitor [weather patterns].’ 
“It seems so silly, in the 21st century, that they think they can get away with it with some level of deniability, including saying, ‘Well, we didn’t mean for it to go over there, but just it’s a balloon. Know how balloons are?’ That’s actually not accurate. These things are maneuverable to a certain degree. I mean, they’re not as precise as a UAV, a drone, or an airplane, but they are maneuverable. They can generally know where they’re going to go. And I mean, this thing wasn’t going over tourist destinations. It went over the northwest. It went over Montana, where we have ICBM fields. 
“It’s not the first time, by the way. We’ve seen these before. I think yesterday the acknowledgment of it is because they knew people were going to be seeing it, and there were going to be reports about it, and [they] couldn’t hide it. 
“I think it is disappointing that they [the Biden Administration] chose not to bring it down when it was over a sparsely populated area where they could have retrieved it and sent a pretty strong message.”
On the timing of the balloon’s incursion into American airspace: 
“It’s not coincidental that this is happening right before [U.S. Secretary of State Antony] Blinken was supposed to visit Beijing. They do these sorts of things to humiliate the other side, project strength and send a message. I don’t think this was coincidental. I think it was certainly tied to that.”
On what the U.S. should do about the balloon now:
“If these things are flying over our airspace, and there’s an opportunity to bring them down, we’re going to do it. We’re not going to do it in a way that’s going to fall on a major city and kill anyone. It can be a little unpredictable, so it’s not as easy as just going up there and knocking this thing down. [But] we have to make that pretty clear. 
“There’s those sensors [on the balloon], and they’re gathering information, but they can also get that information from satellites. They can get that information from all of the Huawei equipment and routers that are still installed across the United States. There’s a million ways they can gather this information that they want, and they are doing it. Espionage levels have grown. This is just one more method that they use to collect intelligence on us. We have to be cognizant of it and protect ourselves against it. By the same token, we need to wake up. 
“The most important thing we need to do now is wake up and finally, for those who are still resistant to this notion, understand that China is a geopolitical competitor and adversary, the first we’ve had since the end of the Cold War. They’re actually a bigger and stronger adversary than the Soviet Union, which was a military superpower but not an industrial or technological or economic power. 
“The rest of the century will be defined by this relationship between the U.S. and China and their strategic competition. We need to readjust everything we do in this country to that reality.”