Blinken scraps Beijing trip although China “regrets” balloon overflight

Beijing changed its tune on the spy balloon incident late Friday after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken abruptly called off his weekend trip to China. The Chinese foreign ministry said the high-altitude balloon sighted over one of three US nuclear missile fields in Montana was “a weather research satellite,” with” limited self-steering capabilities” that had been blown off-course by winds.

Blinken, cancelling the first high-level US-China encounter in years, called the episode “irresponsible and unacceptable” and a violation of US sovereignty.
The Pentagon then reported spotting a second Chinese spy balloon – this time over Latin America.

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