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Antony Blinken Postpones Trip to China as Beijing Admits to Surveillance Balloon

Antony Blinken Surveillance balloon

In response to the finding of a Chinese weather research balloon over American airspace, Secretary of State Antony Blinken of the United States has postponed his trip to China.

The postponement was confirmed by state department representatives in an unnamed manner to the New York Times.

China on Friday referred to the surveillance balloon as a wayward civilian weather research gadget through a spokeswoman from its foreign ministry.

Beijing apologized to Washington for the balloon’s unauthorized intrusion into American airspace, stating that it had “deviated considerably from its planned trajectory.”

The airship originates in China. It is a civilian blimp that is utilized for study, mostly meteorological research, according to a statement posted on the ministry’s website by an unidentified spokeswoman.

“Due to the Westerlies and the airship’s limited self-steering capacity, it strayed significantly from its intended trajectory. Due to force majeure, the airship accidentally entered U.S. airspace, which the Chinese side regrets, the spokeswoman continued.

The spokeswoman added that Beijing would now discuss how to “properly address this unexpected issue” with American officials.

The Pentagon previously acknowledged that the balloon did not pose a substantial threat to military intelligence because it could only access satellite-based surveillance.

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