US authorities say a “surveillance” balloon is floating eastward over the country while Chinese officials say it strayed into US airspace unintentionally.
Chinese spy balloon floating over central US: Pentagon
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed a visit to China after a Chinese balloon was tracked flying across the United States in what US officials have called a “clear violation” of US sovereignty.
The Pentagon said on Thursday it was tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon over the continental United States.
Officials said military leaders considered shooting it down over Montana on Wednesday but eventually recommended against this to President Joe Biden because of the safety risk from debris.
In a statement on Friday, China’s foreign ministry said the balloon was for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes and that it regretted that the airship had strayed into US airspace.