The Chinese government has announced plans to investigate an alleged spy balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace over the last several days. Fox […]
The Chinese government has announced plans to investigate an alleged spy balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace over the last several days.
Fox News reports that on Friday, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mao Ning released a statement on the matter, saying that “China is a responsible country and has always strictly abided by international laws, and China has no intention to violate the territory and airspace of any sovereign countries.”
“As for the balloon,” she continued, “as I’ve mentioned just now, we are looking into and verifying the situation and hope that both sides can handle this together calmly and carefully.”
The incident involves a balloon-like object that has been seen flying over the Western United States over the last few days, which the Pentagon says it has been tracking; the device, a white balloon, has been seen flying over the state of Montana at a high altitude. Although Pentagon officials said they have the ability to shoot it down, they have decided not to do so out of fear of potential casualties on the ground.
“The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now,” said Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder at a briefing Thursday.
“The U.S. government, including NORAD, continues to track and monitor it closely,” Ryder continued. “The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years. Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.”
Amid the heightened tensions, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit China on Friday. Mao said in her statement that she has “no information” regarding Blinken’s visit.
“What I want to emphasize is that before we have a clear understanding of the facts, speculation and sensationalizing will be unhelpful to the proper handling of the issue,” she added.