3rd February 2023 – (Hong Kong) A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday (3rd) that the Chinese unmanned airship strayed into the airspace of the United States and expressed regret over the incident. China will continue to maintain communication with the U.S. to properly handle the accident caused by force majeure. The spokesman pointed out that the airship came from China and is of a civilian nature, used for scientific research such as meteorology. Affected by the westerly belt, and its own control ability was limited, it seriously deviated from the scheduled route.
According to an earlier report this morning, the U.S. military said that it has been monitoring a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been hovering over the northern U.S. for the past few days, and military and defence leaders have discussed shooting it out of the sky, according to two U.S. officials and a senior defence official. “The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now,” Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told NBC News. “We continue to track and monitor it closely.” A senior administration official confirmed that Biden had been briefed and received a “strong recommendation” that the balloon not be shot down.