Allegations of Chinese spying activities have been on the rise in the recent years, with numerous countries accusing China of engaging in espionage, cyberattacks, and other covert operations. These allegations have created tensions between China and its allies, as well as countries that have historically been suspicious of China’s intentions. These claims suggest China has engaged in various espionage activities, including cyber-attacks and human intelligence operations.
In 2023, the first major tension regarding these accusations started when the United States shot down the ‘spy’ balloon belonging to China. In February 2023, upon detecting a suspicious balloon moving from China to the United States airspace over Canada, the USA requested information from the Chinese government through the Beijing Embassy. Chinese officials explained the situation as “a civil aircraft used for meteorological activities”. US officials rejected China’s statement of meteorological activities because the balloon could “manoeuvre”. The balloon in question was dropped on February 4, 2023. Following these developments, the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing was postponed.Download the Discussion Paper