China recognized this Monday (6) that the balloon that flew over Latin America and became public knowledge after an announcement by the United States is its property. According to the Xi Jinping regime, it is a civilian object used for flight tests.
When questioned, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said that due to meteorological forces and limited maneuverability, the balloon deviated from the scheduled route and accidentally headed for Latin America and the Caribbean. .
“China is a responsible country and has always strictly respected international law,” Ning told reporters. “We have been in contact with the relevant parties and are dealing with the matter appropriately without threatening any country.”
The Pentagon announced last Saturday (4) the identification of the high-altitude balloon, which it says is an artifact for spying on Beijing. Earlier, Washington had already spotted a balloon flying over the country’s territory, in an episode that opened yet another crisis front between the US and China. Hours after the American announcement, the Colombian government confirmed that it had seen the object flying over the country.
Also on Saturday, US military authorities reported that they shot down, with the action of a fighter jet in the region of the coast of South Carolina, the balloon that was flying over the territory of the country. The Chinese foreign ministry again called the measure exaggerated this Monday.
“The US side’s exaggeration on this matter and even the use of force are unacceptable and irresponsible,” Ning said. “Faced with this type of unexpected and isolated incident, both sides, particularly the US, should act in a calm, professional and appropriate manner.”
The US Navy is trying to recover the balloon and its cargo, with the support of the Coast Guard, according to General Glen VanHerck, of the Aerospace Defense Command, which would allow us to understand the capacity of the object. Washington, however, has already ruled out that the balloon has impacted national security.
In a statement this Monday, the White House reiterated that the episode does not contribute to improving diplomatic relations. John Kirby, national security spokesman, however, said “no one wants conflict”. He also said Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Beijing, which was canceled after the balloon announcement, would be rescheduled “when the time is right”.
No other Latin American nation claimed to have seen the balloon flying over the region. Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuela, however, criticized the US for what it said was an attack on a Chinese civilian aircraft that would not pose a threat. “Once again the US resorts to the use of force instead of treating the situation with proper seriousness and responsibility,” the regime said in a statement.
Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said on a social network that the action of shooting down the balloon was yet another provocation and “violation of our sovereignty by air and sea means”.
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