China said a suspected spy balloon spotted over Montana blew off course and entered US airspace by accident.
The country is “regretful” that the balloon — which China says is for climate research and has limited self-control — diverted over the US, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement posted to its website. Pentagon officials have said they have been monitoring the craft for several days and believe it is gathering intelligence.
The appearance of the balloon comes just days before Secretary of State Antony Blinken was set to travel to Beijing for a series of high-level meetings. China said that it hoped to maintain communication with the US to properly handle the “unexpected” situation.
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