Chinese spy balloon spotted over US airspace; Beijing says it is mainly used for ‘meteorological purposes’

Washington/Beijing: A suspected Chinese spy balloon, said to be the size of three buses, was spotted over the United States’ airspace, the Pentagon has said, a development that has further strained the already tense bilateral ties as Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday abruptly postponed his key visit to Beijing.

Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said the US government has been tracking the balloon for several days as it made its way over the northern United States and flying over sensitive installations.

He told reporters on Thursday that the balloon was “travelling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.” “NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) continues to track and monitor it closely,” he said, adding the balloon was spotted over Montana on Thursday and is “said to be the size of three buses”.

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