Blinken postpones visit to China over ‘spy’ balloon – ‘Clear violation of our sovereignty’


Statement from the State Department raising the tone, speaking of a “violation of international law” – “Unacceptable that something like this happened”

The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken postponed it his planned trip to China because of the tensions caused by one Chinese “spy” balloon spotted flying in US airspace, a senior State Department official said today, adding that Blinken would seek to travel to China “when conditions permit”.

“We have taken note of the statement that the PRC (People’s Republic of China) expressed its regret, but the presence of this balloon in our airspace is a clear violation of our sovereignty as well as international law and it is unacceptable that this has happened,” the official said in a phone call with reporters.

“After consulting with our interagency partners as well as Congress, we have concluded that conditions are not right at this time for Secretary Blinken to travel to China,” the official added.

Earlier, Beijing issued its own response to the balloon spotted over the US, expressing regret over the incident and saying it was an “aircraft” that entered US airspace “due to force majeure” and is being used for research , mainly for meteorological purposes.

US officials have since said that the balloon seen moving over US airspace was actually a “high-altitude surveillance” device.

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