China has recommended “cool-headed” management of a dispute with a massive Chinese balloon that is traveling toward the eastern United States. Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a trip to Beijing, calling the existence of the “spy” balloon “an irresponsible conduct.”
A second Chinese balloon was later spotted above Latin America, according to the US. China apologized for the balloon over the US, claiming that it was a weather blimp that had been misdirected. When last seen, it was above Missouri.
This weekend, it’s anticipated to make its way to the east coast of America around the Carolinas. Due to the risk of falling debris, the US has opted against shooting down the high-altitude airship.
The event occurs while tensions between the US and China are deteriorating.
Beijing “never violated the territory and airspace of any sovereign country,” according to a statement released on Saturday by the Chinese foreign ministry.
It stated that its top foreign policy official Wang Yi had spoken with Mr. Blinken over the phone about the incident and emphasized the need of keeping open lines of communication at all levels, particularly when handling unforeseen situations in a composed and trustworthy manner.
Beijing further stated that it “would not accept any baseless supposition or exaggeration” and charged that “certain American politicians and media” had exploited the incident “as a pretext to criticize and slander China.”
US officials claim that the airship passed over Alaska and Canada before surfacing over Montana, a US state that is home to several critical nuclear missile facilities.
Top US officials were incensed by the episode, according to Mr. Blinken, who claimed he had informed Beijing that the balloon’s existence was “clearly in breach of US sovereignty and international law” and “an irresponsible move.” On the eve of a long-planned visit, he described it as “unacceptable” and “much more irresponsible.”
On February 5 and 6, the senior American diplomat was scheduled to travel to Beijing for talks on a variety of topics, including security, Taiwan, and Covid-19. The summit would have been the first important one between China and the US in years.
However, US defense officials revealed on Thursday that they were monitoring a massive spy blimp over the US.
The balloon’s presence incited concern even though, according to the Pentagon, it was “traveling at an altitude substantially above commercial air traffic” and did “not provide a military or physical threat to persons on the ground.”
Finally acknowledging ownership of the balloon on Friday, China claimed it was a civilian airship used for meteorological research that got lost due to severe weather. And late on Friday, the Pentagon reported the discovery of a second Chinese surveillance balloon, this one over Latin America.
“Reports suggest that a balloon is passing through Latin America. Today, we determine that it is a further Chinese surveillance balloon “said Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Pentagon press secretary. He didn’t elaborate on its location any further.
China has not yet responded publicly to the alleged second balloon.