A screenshot depicting an unidentified balloon over US skies.InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US House of Representatives passed a bill to hold China accountable for the transit of an alleged surveillance balloon over the United States earlier this year, calling for export controls and sanctions on Beijing in response to the incident. House lawmakers passed the bill, dubbed the Upholding Sovereignty of Airspace (USA) Act, on Monday in a vote of 405-6, with a two-thirds majority required for passage. The bill expresses the sense of Congress that the presence of a Chinese high-altitude balloon over the US earlier this year was an “unacceptable violation of United States sovereignty” and that China’s broader balloon surveillance program poses a threat to countries around the world. The legislation says the bill holds China “accountable” for the alleged violation. China maintains that the balloon detected over the US was a civilian airship engaged in scientific research. The legislation calls on the Secretary of State to develop a diplomatic strategy to inform allies and partners about the alleged global surveillance balloon program. The bill also requires the Secretary of Commerce to evaluate the transfer of items related to aerospace programs, including airships and balloons, to China for the purpose of export controls. WorldWaPo Unveils ‘Leaked Doc’ Claiming Four New Alleged Chinese ‘Spy Balloon’ Flights15 April, 04:04 GMTAdditionally, the bill calls for the imposition of sanctions against Chinese individuals determined to be connected to its balloon program. The US is still analyzing recovered components of the airship, which was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean after crossing the continental US, allegedly to intercept intelligence from sensitive military sites.


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