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- China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Monday that the balloon spotted over Latin America last week was also Chinese-owned.
- Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said the balloon was “of civilian nature and used for flight test.”
- A separate suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that floated over the US last week was shot down Saturday.
China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Monday that a balloon spotted over Latin America last week was owned by China — the same reasoning it gave for a suspected spy balloon that was shot down over the US coast.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said the unmanned balloon was Chinese, but said it was “of civilian nature and used for flight test.”
“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,” Mao said.
That was the same explanation China offered for the unmanned balloon spotted over the US late last week.
Pentagon officials said the first balloon, which was shot down off the coast of South Carolina Saturday afternoon, was likely a surveillance device.
US Pentagon officials have said the balloon spotted over Latin America is also a surveillance balloon.
Mao said China had spoken with Latin American countries about the balloon.
“China is a responsible country and always acts in strict accordance with international law. We have informed relevant sides. It is being properly handled and will not pose any threat to any country.”
Mao also addressed reports that Chinese spy balloons flew over the US while former President Donald Trump held office.
“As to the alleged three instances of China flying surveillance balloons over the US during the Trump administration, I noted that Mr. Trump has denied the claim,” Mao said.