U.S. expands military in Pacific, says it will defend Taiwan from China.

WASHINGTON – A Chinese spy balloon has been spotted drifting over the northern United States, and Pentagon officials have considered shooting it down, Defense Department officials said late Thursday.

The decision not to shoot down the balloon was made because of concerns that debris could injure Americans on the ground or destroy property, according to a senior Defense Department official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

The balloon was over Montana when the U.S. considered destroying it, the official said. It would be shot down if it posed a threat to civilian aviation, the official said. It is floating at an altitude where those planes do not fly.

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