Chinese Government Officially Says That Spy Balloon Is Theirs, Calls for 'Cool-Headed' Response

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

The good news is that we officially know that the strange balloon seen in the skies over Montana is Chinese. They have claimed it as theirs, although they are requesting that we believe them when they say it’s totally not a spy balloon.


The People’s Republic of China confirmed Friday that the balloon craft floating over the northern United States is Chinese.

“The airship is from China. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed Friday. “Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”

The Chinese government is also requesting that the U.S. government not do anything rash – like blow the damned thing out of the sky.

“We have no intention to violate other countries’ sovereignty and airspace,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a regular news briefing Friday in Beijing. “We are gathering and verifying the facts. We hope the relevant parties will handle the matter in a cool-headed way.”

“Before it becomes clear what happened, any deliberate speculation or hyping-up will not help handling the matter,” she said.


Now, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has already requested a “Gang of Eight” briefing on the balloon, as my colleague Jennifer Van Laar reported last night. But while all this is going on, Canada has begun reporting a possible second balloon in its airspace, and it may be headed our way.


The bad news? The Biden administration has done little to address the threat, other than say it’s too dangerous to bring it down.

Biden is facing criticism for not quickly responding to this (potentially) huge violation of sovereignty by a hostile foreign power, as the balloon was discovered Thursday afternoon and, as of Friday, was still in the air. A defense official has confirmed to multiple outlets that the balloon was recently over Montana airspace and that officials had thought to bring it down with military assets, but ultimately decided against that course of action. According to that official, the President was briefed on the situation, and he has asked for military options.

We will continue to follow this story.


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