Wednesday, March 22, 2023
HomeMarketBlinken Trip to China Postponed After Alleged Spy Balloon Spotted Over U.S.

Blinken Trip to China Postponed After Alleged Spy Balloon Spotted Over U.S.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken in January.

- Advertisement -

Amir Levy/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration has indefinitely postponed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Beijing after determining that U.S. sovereignty was violated by what it identified as a Chinese reconnaissance balloon loitering above the continental U.S., the State Department said Friday.

U.S. officials on Thursday said the craft was loitering over Montana having earlier crossed Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and Canada. The Pentagon scrambled jets and at one point considered shooting down the balloon, the officials said, though didn’t over concerns that the debris posed a risk to people on the ground.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday denied that the craft was a spy vehicle and said it was a civilian balloon that was designed primarily for meteorological study and had blown off course. “China will continue to maintain communication with the U.S. to properly handle the unexpected situation,” a brief ministry statement said.

The Pentagon said Friday that the balloon was flying east at 60,000 feet over the central U.S. Officials declined to be more specific as to its location.

Defense Department spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that the balloon was expected to drift over the U.S. for a few more days and carried a payload of surveillance equipment. The Pentagon was still reviewing options.

While Mr. Blinken’s trip was never formally announced, a senior administration official said that Mr. Blinken had been scheduled to depart Friday night for Beijing. The State Department said that while it acknowledges China’s statement of regret, it remains confident of its assessment of the situation.

Read the rest of this article in The Wall Street Journal.

Write to


- Advertisment -

Most Popular