China on Monday accused the U.S. of illegally flying high altitude balloons into the country’s airspace more than 10 times since the start of last year, according to news reports, deepening tensions as diplomatic relations sour after Washington downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon found hovering over the U.S. earlier this month.
There have been more than 10 “illegal” flights of U.S. high-altitude balloons over Chinese airspace since the start of 2022, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference on Monday, according to Reuters.
Wang said none of the flights had attained the necessary approval from Chinese authorities, adding that it is “nothing rare for U.S. balloons to illegally enter other country’s airspace.”
Wang did not provide evidence to support the claim or give details on the nature of the alleged U.S. balloons, for example whether they are designed for espionage or for military purposes.
Wang said Beijing had been “responsible and professional” in responding to the balloons and said China reserves the right to deal with any incidents with “necessary means.”
“The U.S. needs to reflect upon itself and change its wrong practice,” he added.
The White House denied Beijing’s allegation as “false” on Monday.
The U.S. Department of Defense didn’t immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment.
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China’s allegations come as officials reportedly prepare to down an unidentified object spotted flying over waters near the port city of Rizhao, eastern China, this weekend. Bloomberg reported that Wang “sidestepped” a question about the object during the briefing.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have flared since the U.S. detected, and later downed, a high-altitude balloon hovering in U.S. airspace it claimed was a Chinese spy balloon. The U.S. military has since shot down three unidentified objects over North America, which officials have said bear potential similarities to the downed Chinese balloon. Beijing has bristled at the accusation and claims the balloon was a civilian research device that had blown off course. Washington officials have openly rejected Beijing’s explanations and Wang’s comments are the first time Beijing has accused the U.S. of flying the balloons over China since the incident with the first balloon on February 4. Washington sanctioned six Chinese aerospace companies it said are involved with the country’s military balloon program on Friday. On Monday, Wang said the U.S. was “hyping up and exaggerating” the situation as a “pretext to illegally sanction” Chinese firms.
The State Department on Monday described the accusation as “the latest example of China scrambling to do damage control.” In a statement, it said China “has repeatedly and wrongly claimed the surveillance balloon it sent over the United States was a weather balloon and to this day has failed to offer any credible explanations for its intrusion into our airspace and the airspace of others.”
The balloons spotted over Canada and the U.S. have sparked concern over whether China has intruded in airspace over other parts of the world. Shortly after the first balloon was detected in the U.S., the Pentagon reported another over Latin America. Taiwan, which has been governed independently for decades but is claimed by Beijing as part of the People’s Republic of China, says it frequently observes military balloons in its airspace and has seen dozens in recent years. Ben Wallace, the U.K.’s defense minister, said the country is reviewing its airspace security following the U.S. incursion. On Monday, a junior British transport minister told Sky News it is “possible” Chinese spy balloons have already flown over the country and described China as a “hostile state.”
China Says U.S. ‘Illegally’ Flew Balloons Into Its Airspace At Least 10 Times As Tensions Mount Over Military Takedowns
I doubt this is true. Even when confronted with facts, the Chinese government has a history of denying the truth and creating an alternate narrative to make themselves look better.
The Chinese have been on a long-term mission to repeat what their forefathers failed to accomplish: new and untold conquests. Spying on the US is the latest attempt at this goal - while they haven’t been able to take over militarily, they can certainly try by infiltrating the US with their surveillance tactics. Unfortunately, this has been going on for decades with no consequence or accountability to slow their agenda. Of course, it’s unclear how much further they would progress if these issues were addressed, but it’s safe to say they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
I don’t believe it either. Biden wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize his personal business deals with China.
Really? You also doubt that the US is responsible for sabotaging the Nordstream pipeline which as of to date is the worst environmental disaster? Your lack of being informed as well as objectivity is the reason we are collapsing as a nation. Why? Because people like you remain obtuse within the spectrum of partisan politics.
Whats your tribes name?