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Airspace breach: US, China trade accusations over spy balloons, UFOs

Airspace breach: US, China trade accusations over spy balloons, UFOs
February 13
17:06 2023

China has accused the United States of spying on the country with high-altitude balloons more than 10 times since January 2022.

On Monday, Wang Wenbin, Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson, described the alleged action as a breach of airspace, adding that the US had a knack for spying on other countries in the same way.

“Since last year alone, US balloons have illegally flown above China more than 10 times without any approval from Chinese authorities,” Wenbin said.

“It is common for US balloons to illegally enter other countries’ airspace.


“The first thing the US side should do is start with a clean slate, undergo some self-reflection, instead of smearing and accusing China.”

Wenbin made the accusations in reaction to the US shooting down a suspected spy balloon over its airspace.

China said it was one of its weather balloons gone astray.

In a statement on Monday, Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the US National Security Council, said China was making the accusations as part of damage control.


She also accused China of violating the airspaces of other countries across the world, saying its claims of a misguided weather balloon in the US was false.

“Any claim that the US government operates surveillance balloons over the PRC is false. It is China that has a high-altitude surveillance balloon program for intelligence collection, that it has used to violate the sovereignty of the US and over 40 countries across 5 continents,” Watson tweeted.

“This is the latest example of China scrambling to do damage control. It has repeatedly and wrongly claimed the surveillance balloon it sent over the US was a weather balloon and has failed to offer any credible explanations for its intrusion into our airspace, airspace of others.”


Since Friday, the US has shot down three unidentified objects over the North American airspace – in the skies over Alaska, northern Canada, and Lake Huron, CNN reports.


The first balloon incident was followed by Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, cancelling a planned trip to Beijing.

Blinken called China’s alleged high-altitude “spying” unacceptable and irresponsible.


The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said he had “no understanding of these other objects”.

“But what we want to tell everyone here is that the US’ frequent firing of advanced missiles used to strike down unidentified flying objects is an overreaction of excessive force,” he said.


The accusations have further strained a fragile relationship between China and the US.


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