On February 2, the Pentagon said a suspected Chinese spy balloon was flying high over the US sky, apparently monitoring very sensitive nuclear weapons sites.
“We are confident that this high-altitude surveillance balloon belongs to China,” CNN quoted a senior US defense official as saying. China has deployed surveillance balloons flying over the US in the past.
At a press conference on February 3, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said the country was verifying the case and called for “until the facts are clarified, speculation and hype will not help solve the problem”. problem”.
“China is a responsible country and always strictly abides by international law. We have no intention of infringing upon the territory or airspace of any sovereign country,” Mao Ning said.
“We hope both sides will handle the situation with calm and caution.”
AFP news agency reported that at the request of President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and top US military officials considered shooting down the aforementioned balloon, but they assessed this option would be endanger the people on the ground.
“Clearly the purpose of this balloon is surveillance,” a defense official told AFP.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the mysterious hot air balloon had flown over the northwestern United States, home to sensitive air bases and strategic missiles in underground bunkers.
Still, the Pentagon said the balloon did not pose a particularly dangerous intelligence threat.
Also at the press conference, Ms. Mao Ninh said she had nothing to share about US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China on February 5.