Friday 31 March 2023

China apologizes to Costa Rica for balloon flyover

China claims it was an accident and that the balloon was for scientific purposes.

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31 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – You have most likely heard about the Chinese spy balloon that entered U.S. airspace last week. Well, it appears another balloon flew over Costa Rica, to which Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto) confirmed that China apologized for the flyover on Thursday, February 2, according to La Nación.

Another Chinese spy balloon is spotted: Mystery ‘surveillance device’ floated over Costa Rica before reaching Venezuela. The infographic shows the suspected paths of the two Chinese spy balloons spotted hovering over the west.

The balloon, which the U.S. Pentagon said it too was a spy balloon, could be seen from different parts of the country, which generated confusion in many.

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Through its embassy in San José, China offered an apology to Costa Rica for the incident, noting that the object was civil and had scientific purposes in the area of meteorology. It also indicated that it did not represent a threat to the country.

“The Embassy (of China) reiterated that the balloon that was observed from various parts of the national territory was of a civilian nature and had scientific, mainly meteorological, purposes.

The same type of balloon spotted in the US was visible all day in the Costa Rican sky. “I was super excited thinking it was my first UFO lol… but still, it was amazing to see such a big object absolutely clear,” wrote UAP Costa Rica on its Twitter feed

“In addition, it was ensured that the object did not represent any threat to any country and its presence in Costa Rica was due to the fact that it suffered a deviation from the scheduled route due to weather conditions and limited self-direction capacity,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement to La Nacion.

The Foreign Ministry added that “its mission is to safeguard national sovereignty, demanding that the international community unrestricted respect for international law, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country.”

Carlos Cascante, an international relations expert from the Universidad Nacional (UNA), stated that it is common for this type of apology to occur since permits are required for a flyover.

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Last week, a similar balloon was spotted in the United States, which was shot down on Saturday by the U.S. off the coast of North Carolina, considering it a spy object.

Wikimedia Commons

With respect to Latin America, on Monday, China confirmed that the balloon was its property and attributed it to an accident. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mao Ning, said in a statement “due to weather forces and its limited maneuverability, the airship seriously deviated from its scheduled route” and “accidentally entered the airspace of Latin America and the Caribbean”.

What China attributes to an accident has caused tension in relations with the United States. Even after the detection of the first balloon that flew over the United States, the White House reacted by canceling a trip to China by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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