China says the doubted spy balloon roaming over U.S. skies is a civilian airship

February 6, 2023: On Friday, Chinese authorities said that a suspected Beijing-operated spy balloon speckled roaming over sensitive U.S. airspace was a civilian airship which was called for scientific research.

China’s Foreign Ministry said that westerly wind had affected the airship to stray into U.S. territory, which described the incident as a result of “force majeure” or greater force for which it was not responsible.

“The airship started from China and is of a civilian nature, used for scientific research like meteorology,” a Google translation of a statement on the foreign ministry’s website.

“Affected by the wind and with limited self-control ability, the airship seriously goes from the scheduled route,” it stated.

“China is disappointed that the airship strayed into the U.S. because of the force majeure. China keeps maintaining communication with the U.S. to properly handle the unanticipated situation,” it added.

The statement arrives hours after Beijing urged Washington to remain “calm” between its investigation into reports that the balloon had been roaming over sensitive U.S. airspace.

On Friday, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated at a press briefing earlier that authorities were still learning regarding the matter, adding that politicians and the people should withhold judgment “before we have a clear the facts.”

“We have noticed relevant reports and are familiar with the situation. What I want to focus on is that speculation is not conducive to a good settlement of the situation before the issue is clarified,” Mao stated.

On Thursday, the U.S. accused China of operating what it stated was a possible surveillance balloon regarding sensitive locations that house nuclear weapons in the northern U.S., further escalating the issues amid the two superpowers.

“China is a huge country, and we agree with international law. We have no purpose of violating different countries’ sovereignty and airspace,” Mao stated on Sky News states.

“As I said, we are collecting the facts. We hope that the responsible parties would handle the case in a cool-headed way,” she further stated.

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China says the doubted spy balloon roaming over U.S. skies is a civilian airship