Antony Blinken postpones China trip after Chinese spy balloon spotted
New Delhi : US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed his visit to China after a Chinese spy balloon was seen flying across the United States in the Washington, calling it a clear violation of US sovereignty.
The Pentagon on Thursday released a statement that it was tracking a high altitude surveillance balloon over continental United State. The military officials first considered shooting it down over Montana. But they recommended opposite to the President Joe Biden because of the safety risk from debris.
White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said that Mr Biden was briefed about the balloon flight on Tuesday and after a high-level meeting it has been decided that it is not appropriate to travel to the People’s Republic of China at this time.
China had earlier released a statement expressing its regret over what it called a "civilian airship" that strayed into US territory after being blown off course.
Meanwhile, US administration said that they are aware of China’s statement, but the presence of this balloon in the airspace is a clear violation of sovereignty as well as international law.
The Pentagon's disclosure about the balloon's maneuverability directly challenges China's assertion about the balloon being blown off course.
At a news conference with South Korea’s visiting foreign Minister later on Friday. Blinken said that he has told Wang Yi that the incident on the eve of his trip was an "irresponsible act" by China. But Washington remains committed to engagement, and he would visit when the condition would allow.
Blinken has not set any fixed date when he might plan to visit China.