6th February 2023 – (Beijing) The U.S. Department of Defence said earlier that it had found a second balloon from China over Latin America. The U.S. also pointed out that ‘spy balloons’ from China flew to the United States during the former President Trump administration. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Monday (6th) that the balloon over Latin America is also an unmanned airship from China, which is of a civilian nature and used for flight tests.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning responded that the balloon that appeared over Latin America came from China and was used for flight tests. She said that due to the weather and its limited ability to control itself, the airship seriously deviated from its planned route and strayed into the skies over Latin America and the Caribbean. She emphasised that China is a responsible country and has always strictly abided by international law. It will notify relevant parties and handle the incident properly. The balloon will not pose any threat to any country, and all parties should understand this.
When asked when it was discovered that another balloon had floated into U.S. airspace, Mao Ning pointed out that after the U.S. notified the Chinese government, it immediately verified and gave feedback to the U.S. side as soon as possible, clearly requesting the U.S. side to handle it properly in a calm, professional, and restrained manner. She criticised the U.S.government for insisting on using force in disregard of China’s position and demands, which is obviously an overreaction. She also pointed out that the airship strayed into the U.S. airspace this time was completely accidental, but the real test is the sincerity of the U.S. side in stabilising and improving Sino-U.S. relations and the way it handles the crisis to avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment that will further undermine mutual trust.