21.1 C
New York
Saturday, April 1, 2023

Don't miss

A second Chinese ‘spy’ balloon flies over Latin America

- Advertisement -

A second Chinese balloon has been spotted over Latin America, the Pentagon announced on Friday February 3, a new twist in a case that has cast a chill between Washington and Beijing, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken having postponed his visit in China.

- Advertisement -

The day before, the United States had announced the presence of a first balloon “spy” Chinese in their airspace. As it continues its path in the American sky, a “another chinese spy balloon” was detected, this time over Latin America, according to the Pentagon. Neither its location nor the direction it takes have been specified.

The sequel after the ad

“Unacceptable” affront

- Advertisement -

The Chinese authorities have expressed their « regrets » for this intruder “involuntary” according to them, Washington judged the affront “unacceptable” and decided in extremis on Friday to cancel Antony Blinken’s trip, scheduled for Sunday and Monday.

The secretary of state expressed American displeasure during a call with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, denouncing “an irresponsible act and a clear violation of United States sovereignty that undermines the purpose of the trip”.

The Chinese Communist Party’s top official for diplomacy stressed that his country acts in a ” responsible “ and has “always strictly adhere to international laws”according to the official New China agency.

Antony Blinken tried to calm things down by assuring that his visit would be rescheduled when “conditions will permit”emphasizing the need to keep “open lines of communication” with Beijing. “Imagine for a moment what the reaction in China would have been” if they were concerned, he noted.

The sequel after the ad

Rescheduled visit

Antony Blinken’s visit to China would have been the first by an American secretary of state since October 2018. The Pentagon assured Thursday that it had no doubts about its Chinese origin and its use for espionage purposes.

Beijing, which initially called for not “pin up” this case, admitted on Friday that it was indeed a device from China. But “it is a civil aircraft, used for research purposes, mainly meteorological”assured a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.

Affected by the winds, this balloon “deviated from its trajectory”he added, expressing the « regrets » of his country for this violation “involuntary” of American airspace. “The priority now is to get this spy device out of our airspace”said Antony Blinken during a press conference.

The balloon should, however, remain above American territory for a while. ” A few days “, Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said Friday. The craft, which is heading east, was on Friday afternoon “above the middle of the United States” some 18,000 meters above sea level, he added.

The sequel after the ad

nuclear missile silos

Pat Ryder reiterated that the ball, “maneuverable”was flying above commercial air traffic and did not present “no military or physical threat to people on the ground”. The spokesperson, however, refused to explicitly detail whether the movements of the machine were remote-controlled.

According to American media, the balloon flew over the Aleutian Islands in the northern Pacific Ocean, then passed through Canadian airspace, before entering the United States about two days ago.

He notably flew over the state of Montana (west), which is home to nuclear missile silos, where fighter jets approached him, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday on condition of anonymity.

It was decided not to shoot it down, because of the risks posed by possible debris for people on the ground, he added, while judging “limited” its ability to collect information.

The sequel after the ad

“Down That Ball”

This is not the first time that the US military has seen such an intrusion, but this aircraft has remained longer than others in US airspace. The incident sparked strong reactions within the political class in the United States.

The Republican and Democratic leaders of a parliamentary committee on China, Mike Gallagher and Raja Krishnamoorthi, have thus denounced a “violation of American sovereignty”. “Down that balloon!” »urged former Republican President Donald Trump on Truth Social.

Many elected Conservatives have declared themselves of the same opinion, some going so far as to put themselves on the stage, firearms pointed skyward.

Source : Nouvelobs

- Advertisement -

Latest Posts