On February 3, Bloomberg reported that China had just responded to a statement by the administration of US President Joe Biden, that “a Chinese spy balloon flew over US territory, near sensitive military facilities. “.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a regular press conference in Beijing on February 3: “We have no intention of violating the sovereignty and airspace of other countries. gather information, verify the case, and hope that the parties involved will handle the matter calmly.Before it becomes clear, any speculation or deliberate exaggeration will not help. problem solving”.
The US has sent fighter jets, ready to shoot down hot air balloons if necessary. Photo: AP
General Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, previously said the balloon was first discovered in Montana earlier this week. The state of Montana is home to sensitive sites including the US Air Force’s 341st missile squadron.
A US Defense Department spokesman said Washington “believes the balloon belongs to Beijing but does not explain why”. Meanwhile, Canada’s Ministry of Defense announced it was monitoring a “second potential incident” without providing details.
The hot air balloon incident in the US West is likely to overshadow US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China. Many see this as a visit to normalize relations between the two countries.
Ms. Mao Ninh did not respond to a question whether Blinken would continue to visit Beijing and only said she had no information to give reporters at this time.
Blinken’s scheduled visit comes in the context of a serious “downhill” in trade relations between the US and China.