Credit: Fox News
China admitted on Monday that a second balloon flying over Latin America is indeed theirs.
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They allege that the aircraft is “civilian” and that it shifted off course from weather and “its limited self-steering capability.”
This acceptance of the balloon from China’s Foreign Ministry comes less than two days after the United States shot down a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean. A pentagon spokesperson told Fox News that another Chinese balloon was found over Latin America.
“With regard to the balloon over Latin America, it has been verified that the unmanned airship is from China, of civilian nature and used for flight test,” China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told reporters Monday.
“Affected by the weather and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course and entered into the airspace of Latin America and the Caribbean,” she added.
She tried to add that we have nothing to worry about in regard to the balloons.
“China is a responsible country and always acts in strict accordance with international law. We have informed relevant sides,” Mao also said. “It is being properly handled and will not pose any threat to any country.”
This past Saturday, Columbia’s air force said it saw an object with “characteristics similar to those of a balloon” flying over their territory at an altitude of 55,000 feet, going at a speed of about 30 mph.
“It was determined that it did not represent a threat to national security,” the air force reportedly said.
Costa Rice also notified airplanes on Thursday after they received reports of a balloon traveling in its airspace.
“It was the same thing everyone else saw, a white ball,” Fernando Naranjo, Costa Rica’s civil aviation director, told Reuters.
On Thursday, the U.S. government was briefed on the surveillance balloon, but they did not take action until Saturday.
The Chinese spy balloon was spotted over Montana but was able to float across the entire United States.
On Saturday, it was shot down over the Atlantic, where the Biden Administration said it would not harm any individuals on the ground.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin, III said in a statement that “President Biden gave his authorization to take down the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon’s path.”
The Pentagon does not believe China’s claims that it was just a weather balloon that somehow veered off course.
“This was intentional,” a senior U.S. official said, adding that the balloon initially took off from mainland China.
Director of the CCP Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi said that China “has always strictly followed international law, we do not accept any groundless speculation and hype. Faced with unexpected situations, both parties need to keep calm, communicate in a timely manner, avoid misjudgments and manage differences.”
The Chinese government said on Saturday that the decision to shoot down the balloon by America was an “excessive reaction” and that China ‘”retains the right to repsond further.”