Chinese ‘spy balloon’ reappears in US airspace | US News

A suspected Chinese spy balloon has resurfaced in U.S. airspace — this time over North Carolina.

The discovery of the plane has sparked tensions and a diplomatic row between the United States and China.

The US claimed the craft was a suspected spy balloon and said it was a “clear violation” of US sovereignty.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with President Xi Jinping during his visit to China, delayed after sighting.

China insists it is used for meteorological and other scientific research, but has been blown off course.

Beijing and Washington’s contradictory lines have created uncertainty now rife with theories, with some experts questioning why China would send it for reconnaissance, given that any intelligence gained from the craft is likely to be extremely limited.

Others said it may have been a deliberate attempt to embarrass or irritate the United States by showing how easy it is to gain access to U.S. airspace.

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“This is a Chinese surveillance balloon”

Its latest discovery comes after Mr Blinken spoke to China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, about what happened.

Beijing Say they discussed how to handle the unexpected in a calm and professional manner.

Also on Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense said the balloon poses “no physical or military threat” to civilians and there is no risk of nuclear or radioactive material on board.

Military leaders decided against shooting it from the sky because of the safety risk of falling debris.

read more:
What are “spy balloons” and what do they do?
The Puzzling Theory Behind China’s ‘Spy Balloons’
Analysis: Biden’s response is measured but grounded in reality

Spy balloon's route from China over the Aleutians, via Canada and into Montana
The route of spy balloons flying from China over the Aleutians, via Canada and into the US

The object is believed to have flown over the Aleutian Islands, not far from the coast Alaskaand pass Canada before entering the US earlier this week.

The Pentagon says it operates at 60,000 feet and is maneuverable.

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