China looking into US spy balloon report: ‘No intention of violating the territory and airspace’ of any country

AP Photo/Liu Zheng
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning gestures during a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing on Oct 13, 2022. The Chinese government accused Washington of “Cold War thinking” and appealed for efforts to repair strained relations after President Joe Biden released a national security strategy that calls for “out-competing China” and blocking its efforts to reshape global affairs.

China on Friday said that it is looking into reports that a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon has been traveling over the northern portion of the U.S. this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said. 

“We have noted relevant reports and are looking into and verifying the situation,” Mao said at a daily press briefing. “What I want to emphasize is that before we have a clear understanding of the facts, speculations and sensationalization will do no good to resolving the problem properly.”

“China is a responsible country and has always strictly abided by international laws, and China has no intention of violating the territory and airspace of any sovereign country,” she added.

U.S. defense officials confirmed on Thursday that they were monitoring a high-altitude surveillance balloon first spotted over Montana on Wednesday. The U.S. has so far held off on shooting it out of the sky amid safety concerns on the ground.

The balloon, which officials are very confident belongs to Beijing, is reportedly still hovering over the U.S. 

Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Thursday that the surveillance balloon is flying “well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”

Ryder also noted that the U.S. government “acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.”

Tags Beijing China Mao Ning Pat Ryder pentagon surveillance balloon U.S.-China relations

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