China‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had little to say about the latest objects found flying in U.S. airspace, but said high-altitude U.S. balloons had entered Chinese airspace on more than 10 occasions in the past year, following Washington’s accusation that Beijing operates a fleet of surveillance balloons around the world.
The news came after the U.S. shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had crossed from Alaska to South Carolina, sparking a new crisis in bilateral relations that have spiraled to their lowest level in decades, EB understands.
However, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin gave no details about the alleged U.S. balloons, how they had been dealt with or whether they had government or military links.
‘It is also common for U.S. balloons to illegally enter the airspace of other countries,’ Wang said at a daily briefing.
‘Since last year, U.S. high-altitude balloons have illegally flown over China’s airspace more than 10 times without the approval of Chinese authorities.
‘Wang said the U.S. should “first reflect on itself and change course, rather than smear and instigate a confrontation.’
China says the balloon shot down by the U.S. was an unmanned airship made for meteorological research that had been blown off course. It has accused the U.S. of overreacting by shooting it down and threatened to take unspecified action in response.
In Washington, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said Monday that any claim that the U.S. government operates surveillance balloons over China is false.
‘This is the latest example of China scrambling to do damage control. It has repeatedly and wrongly claimed the surveillance balloon it sent over the United States was a weather balloon and to this day has failed to offer any credible explanations for its intrusion into our airspace and the airspace of others,’ said spokeswoman Adrienne Watson.