Biden says US will ‘take care of’ suspected Chinese spy balloon | News

The US president’s remarks come after China called for ‘calm down’ over a balloon flying over the US.

President Joe Biden has said the United States will “take care” of a suspected Chinese spy balloon that was tracked flying over the US.

Biden said Saturday when asked if Washington would shoot down a high-altitude surveillance balloon flying over the country, which Washington called a “flagrant violation” of American sovereignty.

The president, who has not yet spoken about the suspected spy balloon, did not clarify what was being planned.

Military leaders considered shooting down the high-altitude surveillance balloon this week, but ultimately recommended against it because of the risk of falling debris, officials told the Reuters news agency.

China has expressed regret that a “zeppelin” used for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes strayed into US airspace.

Following the balloon discovery, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a visit to China that was due to start on Friday.

The postponement of Blinken’s trip, agreed to by Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November, is a blow to those who saw it as a belated opportunity to stabilize increasingly shaky relations. The last visit of the US Secretary of State was in 2017.

Beijing has longed for stable relations with Washington so it can focus on its economy, battered by the now-abandoned zero-Covid policy.

China played down the cancellation of Blinken’s visit on Saturday, saying no such plan had been officially announced by either side.

“In fact, the U.S. and China have never announced any visit, the U.S.’s announcement of such an announcement is their business and we respect that,” China’s Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry reiterated that the balloon’s journey was beyond China’s control and called on the US not to “dirty” it on the basis of the balloon.

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi Wang said that China has “always strictly followed international law, we do not accept any baseless speculations and advertisements. Faced with unexpected situations, both sides must remain calm, communicate in a timely manner, avoid misjudgments and manage differences.”

The balloon was seen over Montana on Wednesday and traveled across the United States. It was seen over North Carolina on Saturday morning, according to commercial forecaster AccuWeather who tracked it.

The Pentagon said on Friday that another Chinese balloon had been spotted over Latin America, without specifying where.

“We now assess that it is another Chinese surveillance balloon,” Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said in a statement.

A spy balloon is literally a gas-filled balloon that flies fairly high in the sky, more or less where commercial airplanes fly.

A spy balloon generally has sophisticated cameras and imaging technology and points all of these instruments toward the ground, gathering information through photographs and other images of whatever is on the ground below it.

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