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China asks US to avoid misunderstanding over meteorological balloon

Beijing, Feb 4 (Prensa Latina) China insisted today to the United States to stay calm and keep communication to avoid misunderstandings, after the accidental passage through the airspace of that country of a balloon carrying out scientific research.

This statement was made by Wang Yi, director of Foreign Affairs of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, during a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the incident.

The senior official emphasized the need to remain focused on the issue and handle differences appropriately in the face of unexpected situations, according to a brief statement from the Foreign Ministry.

China, he said, is a responsible country, has always strictly respected international laws and does not allow itself to be provoked by speculations.

The contact between Wang and Blinken came after the American canceled his first trip to China, scheduled to take place this weekend, due to the incident with the balloon.

Beijing, for its part, yesterday regretted the entry into US airspace of the domestic civilian aircraft used for meteorological studies.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the equipment deviated from its scheduled course due to the strength of the westerly winds and its limited ability to steer itself.

It also urged calm and caution, asking politicians and the public to refrain from drawing conclusions until they have a clear understanding of the facts.

However, he reaffirmed that China has no intention of violating the territory nor airspace of any sovereign state.

But the US reported the presence of a Chinese high-altitude balloon and said it was flying over “sensitive sites for intelligence gathering” such as Montana, where a major nuclear base is located.

A Pentagon official confirmed that they were monitoring the aircraft, it was above commercial air traffic and posed no danger to the military nor civilians on the ground.

He also indicated that they decided not to fire on it for fear of injury to the public, but updated President Joe Biden.


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