UK to launch Chinese spy balloon probe as ministers warn over ‘hostile state’ using satellites over Britain

FILE PHOTO: The suspected Chinese spy balloon drifts to the ocean after being shot down off the coast in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, U.S. February 4, 2023. REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo

MINISTERS will launch a probe into Chinese spy balloons amid concerns the hostile state has already invaded British air space.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace vowed to investigate what possible intrusions mean for UK national security and how threats from China are reshaping international relations.

A Chinese spy balloon lurking above US nuke bases was shot down by the US military earlier this month

Ben Wallace will launch a probe into Chinese spy balloons amid concerns the hostile state has already invaded British air space

Mr Wallace said: “The UK and her allies will review what these airspace intrusions mean for our security.

“This development is another sign of how the global threat picture is changing for the worse.”

Last week the Defence Secretary exclusively told HOAR that Chinese balloons could have spied on the UK and he would have shot them down if they were spotted.

This morning Transport Minister Richard Holden confirmed the same, telling Sky News it was possible that “Chinese spy balloons have already been used over the UK”.

Earlier this month the US military took down a balloon the size of three buses, which was spotted lurking near nuke bases around Montana.

A US official said that the balloon had flown over areas that contained sensitive airbases and nuclear missiles in underground silos.

MPs in Britain have sounded the alarm over similar acts happening closer to home.

“It is also possible, and I would think likely, that there would be people from the Chinese government trying to act as a hostile state,” Mr Holden told Sky News.

“I think we have to be realistic about the threat these countries pose to the UK.

 “I think the Government is concerned about what’s going on.”

Meanwhile, a UK visit from the Chinese chief overseeing the brutal persecution of Uighur Muslims is causing fury in Westminster.

Senior Tories are raging that Ministers are allowing the Governor of Xinxiang, Erkin Tuniyaz, to come to Britain this week.

At 10am this morning Uighur activists will protest the visit outside the Foreign Office.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who has been sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party, will be in attendance.

In a letter to the Foreign Secretary, Rahima Mahmut
Executive Director of Stop Uyghur Genocide, said: “We remind the Government just how close to home this genocide is for many people living in this country.

“There are survivors here that still bear the physical and psychological scars of torture, most of them just too terrified to speak out.

“Engagement must have its limits. Meeting with Chinese Communist Party officials sanctioned by the UK’s closest allies for atrocity crimes must be a red line.”

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