US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said China’s spy balloons were “not conducive to the substantive discussions” that took place during his visit.
Mr Blinken said he spoke with Wang Yi, director of the Communist Party’s Central Foreign Affairs Office, on Friday about the postponement, saying: “Current conditions are not conducive to a constructive visit.”
A spokesman for the secretary of state said earlier that Mr Blinken “has indicated that he will plan to travel” China “As soon as conditions permit”.
us The officials also “noted” China’s statement of regret, but said “the presence of this balloon in our airspace is a clear violation of our sovereignty and international law, and it is unacceptable for this to happen”.
Sky News understands Mr Blinken was set to leave for China tonight before the trip was postponed.
The secretary of state’s comments came as U.S. authorities confirmed that a balloon tracked across the U.S. in recent days was Chinese surveillance equipment.
At a news conference today, the U.S. Department of Defense said the balloon was heading east but posed no “physical or military threat” to civilians.
The Pentagon press secretary would not confirm the current location of the balloon, which operates at an altitude of about 60,000 feet.
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Commodore Patride said there was also no evidence that any nuclear or radioactive material was on board, but it was capable of being manipulated.
He also dismissed China’s claim that the balloon was actually a “civilian airship” that strayed into U.S. airspace.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing Admitted that the balloons came from China, but said they were for meteorological and other scientific research.
US authorities say it now knows about the object – spotted over Billings, Montana, A Chinese balloon flew over the sensitive site to gather information near one of three U.S. nuclear missile silos at Malmstrom Air Force Base on Wednesday.
A Pentagon spokesman said it was “closely monitoring the situation and will continue to review options.”
The spokesperson added that the balloon may remain over the United States for several days.
U.S. officials also confirmed that military intelligence had previously seen similar surveillance balloons elsewhere.
The object is believed to have flown over the Aleutian Islands, not far from the coast Alaskaand pass Canada before entering the United States.
Military and defense leaders considered shooting balloons out of the sky but decided against it due to the safety risk of falling debris.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin convened a meeting of senior military and defense leaders to review the threat profile and possible responses to the balloon presented to the U.S. president joe biden Wednesday.
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President Biden, speaking at a White House conference on jobs earlier today, declined to answer questions on the subject.
The United States has “urgently” contacted Chinese officials and conveyed the seriousness of the situation.
China and the United States have recently experienced tension, clashing over Taiwan and China’s human rights records and their military activities in the South China Sea.