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China, US tensions rise over suspected Chinese spy balloon

China, US tensions rise over suspected Chinese spy balloon

The U.S. was tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon spotted over American airspace, and China said Friday that it would look into those reports, as the discovery further strained already tense relations between Beijing and Washington.

The Pentagon decided not to shoot down the balloon, which was potentially flying over sensitive sites, because of concerns of hurting people on the ground, AP reports.

The news came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was expected to make his first trip to Beijing this weekend. The visit has not been formally announced, and it was not immediately clear if the balloon’s discovery would affect his travel plans.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said she had no information on the trip. But she said China has “no intention of violating the territory and airspace of any sovereign country” and urged calm while the facts are established.

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