Home / News / World /  Another Chinese spy balloon flying over Latin America: US

The US has alleged that another Chinese spy balloon was spotted flying over Latin America on Saturday. "We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon," United States' press secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said.

However, China said that US media and politicians had taken advantage of US allegations that China flew an espionage balloon over the northwest US.

Moments before the decision to scrap the visit -- aimed at easing tensions between the two countries -- China issued a rare statement of regret and blamed winds for pushing what it called a civilian airship into US airspace.

The discovery of the balloon prompted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday to cancel a rare planned trip to Beijing.

"China... never violated the territory and airspace of any sovereign country," the foreign Secretary said.

“Some politicians and media in the United States used the (balloon) incident as a pretext to attack and smear China," it added.

Meanwhile, the US Northern Command is coordinating with NASA to determine what the debris field would be if the balloon floating above the United States were to be shot down.

Officials said they were still tracking the suspected Chinese spy balloon as it travels across the US. The Pentagon said it does not currently pose a threat and that it is expected to remain over the US for the next couple of days.

President Joe Biden was first briefed on the balloon Tuesday and has been receiving continued updates from the National Security team, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The Pentagon said the balloon over the US is being used for surveillance, rejecting China's claim that the aircraft is a "civilian airship" for research that deviated from course.

"The unintended entry of a Chinese unmanned airship into US airspace due to force majeure, the Chinese side has verified it and communicated it to the US side. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes," China's foreign ministry said.

The Pentagon on Friday flatly denied the Chinese government's claim that the balloon serves a civilian research purpose, saying that the US knows it is a "surveillance balloon."

The Pentagon also said that it wouldn't attempt to remove the balloon in the US airspace because "any potential debris field would be significant" and could cause “civilian injuries or deaths or significant property damage".

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