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China Claims More Than 10 US Balloons Flew Over Its Territory In 2022

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China says more than 10 US balloons flew over its territory during the past year

(CTN NEWS) – BEIJING –  China claimed on Monday that more than 10 American high-altitude balloons had entered its airspace without authorization during the previous year in response to Washington’s claim that Beijing runs a fleet of surveillance balloons throughout the world.

The US denied that it uses any balloons for spying above China.

The Chinese accusation followed the American downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had traveled from Alaska to South Carolina, which sparked a fresh crisis in the two countries’ deteriorating relations.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, provided no information regarding the supposed American balloons, how they had been handled, or whether they had any connections to the government or military.

China says more than 10 US ballo

In this image made from video, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin gestures as he speaks during a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023 (AP Photo/Liu Zheng)

At a daily briefing, Wang stated that it was also typical for American balloons to enter other nations’ airspace erroneously.

Since last year, more than ten times without the permission of Chinese officials, American high-altitude balloons have flown illegally across Chinese airspace. 

Instead of spreading rumors and starting a fight, Wang advised the United States to “first reflect on itself and alter course.”

China claims that the balloon the U.S. fired down was an unmanned airship blown off course while being used for meteorological research.

It has charged that the United States overreacted by shooting it down and has warned to retaliate by taking unspecified steps.

Speaking on behalf of the National Security Council, Adrienne Watson said in Washington on Monday that it is untrue to assert that the United States operates surveillance balloons over China.

China says more than 10 US ballo 1

A high-altitude balloon, which the US government has stated is Chinese, is seen as it continues its multi-day path across the Northern United States in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, 04 February 2023IMAGE SOURCE, EPA

Watson said that China was responsible for the People’s Liberation Army’s high-altitude surveillance balloon program for intelligence gathering, which was employed to violate the sovereignty of the US and more than 40 other nations across five continents.

“This is the most recent illustration of China attempting damage control.

It has incorrectly and repeatedly claimed that the surveillance balloon it launched over the United States was a weather balloon, and it continues to provide no convincing justifications for its unauthorized entry into both our airspace and the airspace of others.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a trip to Beijing that many had hoped would stop the dramatic deterioration in relations over Taiwan, trade, human rights, and threatening Chinese actions in the disputed South China Sea after the balloon incident.

Also on Monday, the Philippines accused a Chinese coast guard ship of deliberately aiming a military-grade laser at a Philippine coast guard vessel in the South China Sea, temporally impairing part of the crew, and violating Manila’s sovereign rights in a “blatant” manner.

China says more than 10 US ballo 2

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According to Wang, on February 6, a Philippine coast guard vessel entered Chinese seas without authorization, and Chinese coast guard vessels replied: “professionally and with restraint.”

China has been progressively bolstering its maritime military and island installations while claiming the critical waterway.

In this regard, China and the Philippines continue to communicate through diplomatic channels, according to Wang. China’s Defense Ministry did not immediately answer a question regarding the event.

On instructions from President Joe Biden, a U.S. fighter plane shot down an “unidentified object” over Lake Huron on Sunday, heightening tensions.

It was the fourth such downing in eight days, part of an astonishing series of occurrences over American airspace that, according to Pentagon officials, is unprecedented in peacetime.

The Biden administration said on Thursday, using data from American U-2 spy planes, that the Chinese balloon that the U.S. shot down was prepared to detect and gather intelligence signals as part of a massive.

China says more than 10 US ballo 3

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Military-linked aerial surveillance program that targeted more than 40 countries.

According to Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command, a “heightened alert” following the purported Chinese spy balloon contributes to the repeated shootdowns.

In reaction to the event, the US has since imposed economic sanctions on six Chinese organisations it claims are connected to Beijing’s aerospace activities.

Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution denouncing China for its “brazen infringement” of American sovereignty and its attempts to “deceive the world community by misleading assertions about its intelligence collection programs.”

The Chinese spokeswoman, Wang, reiterated China’s denial of these allegations, claiming that “the United States’ repeated use of advanced missiles to shoot down the objects is a response of overexertion.”

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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