Wednesday 22 March 2023

China says Latin American countries ‘understand’ ‘spy balloon’ situation

The "spy balloon" crisis worsened after the US shot it down, by direct order of US President Joe Biden.

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Q REPORTS (EFE) The Chinese government affirmed that the Latin American countries through which the second Chinese aircraft detected by the Pentagon flew over “understand” that it does not “represent any threat.”


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning speaks during a news conference at the ministry on Monday in Beijing. EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)EFE/EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

“China is always governed by international law, we do not represent a threat to any of these countries and they understand it that way. China is a responsible country and always acts in strict accordance with international law. We have informed relevant sides. It is being properly handled and will not pose any threat to any country,” said Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Mao Ning at the department’s daily press conference on Monday.

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The countries over which the passage of the aircraft has been detected are Costa Rica, Colombia and Venezuela, according to different sources.

According to Mao, the airship “belongs to China”, is used “for flight tests for civil purposes” and “was affected by weather conditions, in addition to its limited maneuverability, which caused its unintentional entry into space. air from Latin American countries.

The Colombian air force had been tracking the balloon since Friday, though news of its presence was largely eclipsed by a different Chinese surveillance balloon that made headlines last week as it passed over the continental U.S.  and also spent time in Canadian airspace.

“It was determined that this element did not represent a threat to national security and defense, as well as to aviation safety,” Colombia’s air force said in the release.

Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Authority also spotted the balloon over its airspace.

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Last Friday, in the U.S., Pentagon spokesman, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, announced that the United States had detected a second airship, after the one discovered on Thursday in U.S. airspace, but over the skies of Latin America.

China had not commented on this second supposed “spy balloon” until Monday.

Read more: China apologizes to Costa Rica for balloon flyover

The “spy balloon” crisis worsened this Saturday after the U.S. shot down, by direct order of US President Joe Biden, the Chinese aircraft that had been flying over the North American country for several days.

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That balloon was shot down off the Carolina coast on Saturday and U.S. divers began working to recover the wreckage. China insisted the flyover was an accident, and that the balloon was a civilian aircraft.

In response to the maneuver, China expressed deep “dissatisfaction and protest” considering that the U.S. “overreacted” for using force to shoot down the aircraft that was flying over its airspace.

The discovery of the first of these “spy balloons” in U.S. airspace has triggered a diplomatic crisis between Washington and Beijing and has led to the suspension of the trip that Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, planned to make to the Asian country last weekend. week.

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