Foreign ministry says alleged surveillance balloon is used mainly for weather monitoring, deviated from planned course.
China’s foreign ministry has expressed regret over what it called a civilian balloon straying into United States airspace.
In a statement on Friday, the ministry said the balloon suspected by the US of conducting surveillance was a civilian “airship” used for research, mainly meteorological purposes.
The statement said the airship has limited steering capability and “deviated far from its planned course” because of winds.
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The Pentagon had earlier said it was “tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon”.
More to follow.