Chinese ‘spy balloon’ spotted again in US airspace

The US is “going to take care of” a suspected Chinese spy balloon flying over its airspace, Joe Biden has said.

The US president was speaking after the balloon was spotted again in the US – this time over North Carolina.

The discovery of the aircraft has stirred tensions and a diplomatic row between China and the US.

The US claims the craft is a suspected spy balloon and says it has committed a “clear violation” of its sovereignty.

A visit to China by secretary of state Antony Blinken, during which he was to meet President Xi Jinping, was postponed following the sighting.

China insisted it is used for meteorological and other scientific research, and had been blown off course.

The contradicting lines from Beijing and Washington have created a void of uncertainty now being filled with theories, with some experts questioning why China would send it for reconnaissance, given that any intelligence gains from the craft would likely be extremely limited.

Others have said it could be a deliberate effort to embarrass or provoke the US, by showing how easily American airspace can be entered.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

‘This is a Chinese surveillance balloon’

Its latest sighting comes after Mr Blinken spoke with senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi about what had happened.

Beijing said they discussed how to deal with accidental incidents in a calm and professional manner.

Also on Friday, the US defence department said the balloon poses “no physical or military threat” to civilians, and there’s no risk of any nuclear or radioactive material on board.

Military leaders decided against shooting it out of the sky due to safety risk from falling debris.

Read more:
What are ‘spy balloons’ and what is their role?
The puzzling theories behind China’s ‘spy balloon’
Analysis: Biden’s response is measured but anchored in reality

The spy balloon's route from China over the Aleutian Islands, through Canada and into Montana
The spy balloon’s route from China over the Aleutian Islands, through Canada and into the US

The object is believed to have flown over the Aleutian Islands, off the coast of Alaska, and through Canada before entering the US earlier this week.

It is operating at 60,000ft and is manoeuvrable, the Pentagon has said.

Articles You May Like

Plans to move migrants from hotels to military bases or disused ferries to be announced
Crypto is banned in China, but Binance employees and support volunteers tell people how to bypass the ban
Donated UN food aid for Yemen’s most needy sold in markets to boost stallholders’ profits
Public the unhappiest it’s ever been with NHS – but they still support it
Video of Nashville school killer entering building released by police