When US Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a trip to China in response to the passage of a high-altitude Chinese balloon into US territory, as first reported by The Guardian, a second Chinese surveillance balloon, according to the Pentagon, was flying over Latin America at the same time.
Pentagon spokesperson Pat Ryder said they are receiving reports of a second balloon sighting in Latin America one day after the first device was spotted over US airspace.
The balloon’s precise location was not provided by the Pentagon, but a US official told CNN that it did not appear to be heading in the direction of the nation at the moment.
Blinken asserted that he made it plain in his interaction with Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, on Friday in South Korea that the presence of this surveillance balloon in US airspace violates both US sovereignty and international law.
Blinken asserted that he had told Wang of Washington’s determination to engage in diplomatic discussions with China and that he would eventually visit Beijing when circumstances permit.
He continued by saying that the US is currently removing the surveillance asset from its airspace.
According to The Guardian’s article, a state department spokesman stressed that communication between the two countries was still open and that the trip had simply been postponed, not cancelled.
Since the time of former President Donald Trump’s administration, Blinken’s travel to Beijing would have shown a warming of relations between the two countries. Since October 2018, he would have become the first US secretary of state to visit the nation.
Representatives of the Chinese government claimed that the reason the item entered US airspace was due to severe winds that caused it to veer off track.
The plane received a lot of media coverage when it was widely believed that China was using it as a spy balloon against the US.
The supposed espionage plane, according to China, was merely a recreational balloon. The Chinese government made it quite clear that it was primarily designed for meteorological research and not for espionage.
Beijing clarified that the airship’s steering capabilities are restricted. This is how it was able to veer off the intended trajectory due to the strong winds.
The balloon had been watched, according to the spy service, ever since it sailed over the northern United States.
Defense officials claim that the balloon’s flight path may pass close to vital military locations.
Mao Ning, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, underlined that China has no intentions of violating the airspace or sovereignty of any other country.
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