China says it ‘regrets’ unmanned airship’s entry into US airspace

BEIJING: Beijing mentioned on Friday it regretted an “unintended” breach of US airspace by what it described as an unmanned civilian airship, after the Pentagon mentioned it was monitoring a Chinese language spy balloon.

“The airship is from China,” a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of International Affairs mentioned in an announcement. “It’s a civilian airship used for analysis, primarily meteorological, functions.”

“The Chinese language aspect regrets the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace resulting from power majeure,” the assertion mentioned.

The Pentagon mentioned Thursday it was monitoring a Chinese language spy balloon flying excessive over the USA, with a senior defence official telling reporters that “the intent of this balloon is for surveillance”.

At President Joe Biden’s request, US officers thought-about taking pictures the balloon down however concluded doing so would endanger too many individuals on the bottom, the official mentioned on situation of anonymity.

Chinese language spy balloon flies over the USA, Pentagon says

The incident got here simply days earlier than a scheduled go to to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken geared toward managing heightened tensions between the 2 powers.

The go to will mark the primary journey to the Asian nation by the USA’ prime diplomat since 2018.

Beijing didn’t instantly determine the balloon’s Chinese language origins at a overseas ministry information briefing on Friday.

It made the admission later, saying the civilian craft was blown astray.

“Affected by the Westerlies and with restricted self-steering functionality, the airship deviated removed from its deliberate course,” the assertion mentioned.

“The Chinese language aspect will proceed speaking with the US aspect and correctly deal with this sudden scenario attributable to power majeure,” it mentioned.