USA: Binken denounces Chinese spy balloon as ‘irresponsible’ after cancelling Beijing trip

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken denounced Beijing’s alleged decision to send a spy balloon over the continental United States as ‘an irresponsible act’ during a press briefing in Washington, DC on Friday.

“The presence of the surveillance balloon in US airspace is a clear violation of US sovereignty and international law, that is an irresponsible act,” he said.

Blinken’s words came after he abruptly cancelled his planned trip to Beijing, despite China’s claims that the balloon was actually designed for weather research and had blown off course.

“In light of China’s unacceptable actions, I am postponing my plan to travel this weekend to China,” The Secretary of State reiterated.

The surveillance device was spotted over Montana, which is reportedly home to one of America’s nuclear weapons launch silos at the Malmstrom Air Force Base.

According to Pentagon Spokesperson Air Force Brigade General Pat Ryder, the suspected high-altitude surveillance balloon is currently ‘moving eastward’ at an ‘altitude of 60,000 feet’, but does not pose a threat to the public. It is expected to remain in US airspace for several days.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has issued a statement expressing regret for the incident, claiming it would work with the US to resolve the issue.

“The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace due to force majeure,” the statement read.

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