The skies over the United States have been abuzz with news of a Chinese surveillance balloon entering U.S. airspace. Defense Department spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder has confirmed that the balloon is currently located in the central part of the country, and is moving eastward. This news has prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone a planned trip to China to meet President Xi Jinping.
The balloon, which is flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet, has been spotted by the National Weather Service in Kansas City, Missouri, who have confirmed that it is not one of their own weather balloons. Ryder has declined to provide more details about the balloon’s whereabouts, but the public has the ability to look up in the sky and see it for themselves.
China has claimed that the balloon is a civilian research aircraft that was knocked off course, but U.S. officials have disputed this claim. Senior State Department officials have declared that the balloon is violating U.S. sovereignty and international law, and have called the situation “unacceptable”. It remains to be seen if the military will take action once the balloon travels over a body of water where it would not cause collateral damage.
This incident is further proof of the escalating tensions between the United States and China. It is a reminder of the importance of maintaining a secure and safe airspace, and of the need for the two countries to come to a resolution that respects the sovereignty of both nations.