Spy balloon row: China says ‘no intention to violate sovereignty of any country’

Downplaying growing tensions over the incident involving a suspected Chinese spy balloon, Beijing on Saturday said it had communicated with the US side and has "no intention to violate airspace of any sovereign country."

"We have no intention to violate and has never violated the territory or airspace of any sovereign country," China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On angry reactions coming from Washington, Beijing said: "Some politicians and media in the US have hyped it up to attack and smear China. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to that."

The Pentagon had said on Thursday that it was tracking a suspected Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon above the continental US.

Beijing regretted the incident, stressing, it was an “unintended entry” by a "civilian airship used for research" that deviated off course and entered US airspace ”due to force majeure.”

"China always acts in strict accordance with international law and respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries," it said.

Calling the incident "an irresponsible act," and a "clear violation" of sovereignty, US top diplomat Antony Blinken had postponed his weekend trip to China.

In a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Friday, Blinken said he will not be traveling to China “in light of the current presence of a high-altitude PRC surveillance balloon in U.S. airspace.”

He said he would be prepared to visit Beijing as soon as conditions allow.

Source: Anadolu Agency