Chinese Spy Balloon To Remain Over US Skies For A Few Days: Pentagon
The Pentagon on Friday said a Chinese hot air balloon, about the size of three buses, carrying a large amount of cargo would likely fly over the United States in a few days, and asserted that the balloon was capable of carrying large amounts of cargo. monitoring ability.
The development has angered the United States and in protest canceled a trip to Beijing by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was scheduled to leave China Friday night. This will be the first visit by a top US diplomat to China in several years.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on China’s violation of US airspace and he is closely monitoring the evolving situation, the White House said, adding that until now they have decided not to destroy it’s for the safety of the public, but all actions are taken. on the table.
“We will continue to monitor it. For now, we assess that it will likely overwhelm the US in a few days, but we will continue to review our options and keep you updated. when possible,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. General Pat Ryder told reporters at the Department of Defense.
“It’s got a big payload underneath the monitor, underneath the actual piece of the balloon,” Ryder said, adding that the surveillance balloon was maneuverable. Right now at this point, he said, it’s moving eastward across the US, currently around the central US.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the US took note of China’s statement of regret. “But the presence of this hot air balloon in our airspace is clearly a violation of our sovereignty and international law and it is unacceptable that this has happened,” she said.
Both the White House and the Pentagon say it poses no military or material threat to those on the ground. “President Biden was briefed. He asked the military to make options. That was strongly recommended by Secretary (Lloyd) Austin, President Milley, commander of the Department of Defense. Northern command did not take kinetic action because of the risk to safety and Jean-Pierre said.
“We know it’s a surveillance balloon. As for the size, I can’t go into specifics other than to say it’s large enough that again, considering our approach, We recognize that any potential is possible. The debris field will be very large and have the potential to cause injury or death to civilians or significant property damage,” Ryder said.
“This is a calculated part of our overall assessment, but again, we’ll continue to monitor it. We’ll continue to review our options and update you as they go. maybe,” he said.
Earlier in the morning, in a phone call with his Chinese counterpart, Blinken told the Director of the CCP Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi that he would not be traveling to the People’s Republic of China at this time due to the presence of the Chinese Communist Party. representation of a senior. -The balloon monitors the altitude of the PRC in US airspace.
Blinken relayed that he planned to visit Beijing to follow up on the agenda that was agreed by President Biden and President Xi in November in Bali. He noted the PRC’s statement of regret but conveyed that this was an irresponsible act and a clear violation of US sovereignty and international law, undermining the purpose of the trip. A State Department spokesman said in a statement read from the phone call.
“The Secretary of State explained that due to this ongoing matter, it would not be appropriate to visit Beijing at this time. He stressed that the United States is committed to engaging in diplomacy and maintaining open lines of communication.” , and that he would be ready to visit Beijing as soon as conditions permit,” Price said.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)
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