According to Beijing it is an “airship” that simply deviated from its course and is being used for research purposes
The Chinese spy balloon spotted over the US is an “airship” that entered US airspace “due to force majeure”, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday, confirming that the aircraft was from China.
According to Beijing, the airship served “meteorological” purposes.
“It is a civilian aircraft used for research, mainly meteorological purposes. Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course. “The Chinese side regrets that the aircraft inadvertently entered US airspace due to force majeure,” the spokesman said in a statement.
“The Chinese side will continue to communicate with the US side and properly handle this unexpected situation caused by force majeure,” the statement added.
US officials said earlier that the balloon seen moving over US airspace was actually a “high-altitude surveillance” device.
The hot air balloon flew over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and across Canada and appeared over Billings, Montana on Wednesday, US officials said. The US decided not to shoot down the balloon because of the danger posed by falling debris and the limited use of any information the device could gather, a US official said.
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