China on Friday said it was working to verify facts surrounding US claims that Beijing had flown a spy balloon over its territory, warning of “hype” on the matter.
The Pentagon said Thursday it was tracking a Chinese spy balloon flying high over the northwestern United States, reviving tensions between the two countries just days before a rare visit to Beijing by top US diplomat Antony Blinken.
“Review of the reports is underway,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular briefing, adding that “until the facts are clear, conjectures are made and the problem is exaggerated will not help to get it right.” solve”.
“China is a responsible country and always strictly abides by international law. We have no intention of violating the territory or airspace of any sovereign country,” she said.
“(We) hope that both sides will handle (the situation) with mutual calm and prudence,” she added.
A senior US defense official told reporters Thursday that launching the balloon had been considered but decided it would endanger too many people on the ground.
“The intent of this balloon is clearly surveillance,” added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The official said the balloon flew over areas where there were sensitive air force bases and nuclear missiles in underground silos, but the Pentagon doesn’t believe it posed a particularly dangerous intelligence threat.
The discovery comes just days ahead of an expected visit by US Secretary of State Blinken to China, where dealing with heightened tensions between the two powers will be high on the agenda.
At the briefing, Mao said she had no information about Blinken’s visit.
(This story was not edited by TOI.News staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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