Tester Presses Biden Administration for Answers on Reports the Chinese Spy Balloon Used American-made Technology

Senator: This “brazen act” highlights need for better measures to stop Chinese Communist Party from importing American technology

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, who is leading the Senate’s bipartisan investigation into the Chinese spy balloon that was first spotted over Montana in February, today called on the Biden Administration to immediately investigate how the spy balloon used American-made technology.

“I write with my deep concerns about the reports indicating the Chinese spy balloon first spotted by Americans over Montana relied on American-made technology,” wrote Tester to the Secretaries of Defense, Commerce, and Treasury. “This brazen act highlights the importance of real and effective measures to stop the Chinese Communist Party from importing our American-made and taxpayer funded technology to undermine our national security.

As Chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Tester continues to lead oversight efforts around the Chinese spy balloon, including boosting the military’s budget to ensure the Pentagon has the tools it needs to better prevent these evolving threats. This spring, Tester brought Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and top Air Force leadership to Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing to meet directly with servicemembers and receive updates on Malmstrom’s response to the Chinese spy balloon.

Tester’s letter continues: “The fact that the Chinese Communist Party was able to use our technology in their spy program is extremely troubling and must be immediately analyzed.  This is a clear demonstration that our current defense and technology export controls may not be adequately preventing or dissuading adversaries from using our own technology against us. I expect this Administration, and the individual departments you oversee, to take whatever necessary action is required to bolster our export controls so that this doesn’t happen again.”

Tester made clear Congress stands ready to provide additional tools to assist the Administration in bolstering our national security arsenal. He also laid out his expectation for “a thorough and timely investigation into how this technology was allowed into the hands of the Chinese government, and the organizations and methods responsible.”

Read Tester’s full letter HERE.