China has accused the United States of illegally entering High-Altitude Balloons Enter China’s Airspace with more than 10 high-altitude balloons in the past year without its permission. The allegations come after the US shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that crossed from Alaska to South Carolina.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing, “Since last year, US high-altitude balloons have illegally flown over China’s airspace more than 10 times without the approval of Chinese authorities.” Wang also added that it is common for US balloons to illegally enter the airspace of other countries.
The Chinese balloon shot down by the US was an unmanned airship used for meteorological research. China has accused the US of overreacting by shooting it down and has threatened to take unspecified action in response.
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a visit to Beijing following the incident. The US has placed economic restrictions on six Chinese entities linked to Beijing’s aerospace programs and the US House of Representatives voted unanimously to condemn China.
Wang, the Chinese spokesperson, repeated China’s dismissal of such claims, saying, “the frequent firing of advanced missiles by the US to shoot down the objects is an overreaction of overexertion.”
In addition to the tensions with China, the Philippines accused a Chinese coast guard ship of targeting a Philippine coast guard vessel with a military-grade laser in the South China Sea. China claims almost all of the South China Sea and has been building its maritime forces and island outposts.
Adding to the already heightened tensions, a US fighter jet shot down an “unidentified object” over Lake Huron on orders from President Joe Biden. The US has shot down four such objects in the past eight days, a chain of events with no peacetime precedent, according to Pentagon officials.
The situation between China and the US, after Chines balloons over US and US High-Altitude Balloons Enter China’s Airspace as well as China and the Philippines, continues to be tense and uncertain. The US has accused China of operating a fleet of surveillance balloons around the world and China has accused the US of illegally entering its airspace with high-altitude balloons.