Blinken postponed a visit to China after news of the balloon crisis. Last Minute WORLD, CURRENT headlines and events
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was said to have postponed his visit to China scheduled for Feb. 5-6.
It is believed that the hot air balloon crisis that flew over the US for several days, which the US calls a “spy balloon” and China calls a “civilian stray balloon,” was effective in this postponement decision.
A US official, who declined to be named, said he did not want the balloon issue to dominate his talks with Chinese officials during Blinken’s visit.
US officials announced yesterday that a Chinese spy balloon had been flying over the US for several days, just a few days before US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s scheduled visit to Beijing.
Officials said they have been “watching” the balloon since it entered US airspace and have been watching it from a manned military aircraft.
Concerned that the debris could pose a security risk, President Joe Biden was advised not to shoot at the balloon.
“The US government has located and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon over the American continent,” Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, spokesman for the US Department of Defense (Pentagon), told reporters.
“Currently, the balloon flies at an altitude significantly higher than commercial aircraft and poses no military or physical threat to people on the ground,” Ryder said.
After all these events, the American press reported that US Secretary of State Blinken had postponed his visit to China.
China: “Civilian balloon exits balloon route over US”
China said the balloon that flew over the US was for civil meteorological and other scientific purposes and expressed regret that it entered US airspace.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced today that they are contacting the United States about this unexpected situation.
“The balloon is a Chinese balloon and is used in nature for civil, meteorological and other scientific research. Due to the influence of westerly winds and limited control capabilities, the balloon deviated from the intended course,” the report says.
In a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry, “China regrets that the balloon accidentally entered the US due to force majeure. China will continue to liaise with the American side to properly deal with this accident.”
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