China claimed that the “airship” flight over the US was an accident, accusing politicians and media of profiting from the situation.
The US claimed that the craft was a spy balloon and stated that it had violated US sovereignty.
China insists that it is used to conduct meteorological and other scientific research.
The foreign ministry stated in a statement that China has “always strictly adhered to international law and respected sovereignty and territorial integrity for all countries.”
Following the sighting, US officials stated earlier that it had delayed a visit to China by Secretary Antony Blinken.
A spokesperson for China said that Beijing had not announced any visit to Washington and that the US announcements were their matter. We respect that.
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In a separate statement, the foreign ministry stated that Wang Yi, the director of China’s Central Commission for Foreign Affairs had spoken with Mr Blinken Friday evening to discuss how to handle accidental incidents in calm and professional fashion.
In the meantime, Brigadier General Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson, confirmed that a second spy balloon was being tracked.
He said, “We are hearing reports that a balloon is transiting Latin America.” It is believed to be another Chinese surveillance balloon.
The US authorities have confirmed that the Chinese surveillance device was used to track the first balloon in the US.
The US defense department stated that the balloon was heading eastwards, but does not pose a threat to civilians in a Friday news conference.
The Pentagon’s press secretary did not confirm the location of the balloon at the moment. It is currently operating at approximately 60,000ft.
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According to Brig Gen Ryder, there is no evidence that any radioactive or nuclear material was aboard the ship. However, it can be maneuvered.
It is believed that the object flew over the Aleutian Islands off the coast Alaska and through Canada before entering the USA.
Defense and military leaders considered shooting the balloon from the sky, but they decided against it due the danger of falling debris.