Australia has retaliated on behalf of its US ally, sending its own highly sophisticated spy balloon into Chinese airspace to gather military intelligence.
Australian officials said the state-of-the-art spying device – which is the size of three school busses, or around 18,000 standard drinks – stealthily blends into the background to avoid detection. “It’s basically invisible; it just looks like any old normal beer floating around in the sky. They’ll never know it’s us,” a spokesperson said.
The balloon was identified by Chinese agencies within seconds of launch. It has since been shot down, with a message sent to the Australian embassy to ‘come and collect your beer balloon’.
Chinese officials say they won’t bother collecting any of the debris for analysis.