Pentagon: Another Chinese balloon floated over Latin America

Pentagon: Another Chinese balloon floated over Latin America

The US Defense Department said on Friday another Chinese surveillance balloon is floating over Latin America, two days after a similar high-altitude balloon was detected traveling over the United States.

The press secretary of the Pentagon, Brigadier General of the Air Force, Pat Ryder, said in a statement to the media that they were seeing reports of a balloon passing over Latin America, VOA reports .

"We now assess that it is another Chinese surveillance bubble," he said.

Earlier on Friday, Ryder told reporters at the Pentagon that the balloon hovering over the United States is there for surveillance — in violation of US airspace and international law — despite China's insistence that it is designed for meteorological research.

Ryder said they continue to closely monitor the balloon flying over the United States, and while he would not give its specific location, he said it was over the center of the continental United States and moving eastward. He said he poses no military or physical threat to people on the ground at this time.

US defense officials first discovered the balloon on Wednesday over the northwestern state of Montana, which is home to one of three US Air Force bases that operate and maintain intercontinental ballistic missiles. Air traffic out of the airport in Billings, Montana, was briefly halted on Wednesday as the US mobilized fighter jets to track the balloon.

On Saturday, China's foreign ministry said the craft was force majeure, citing a legal term to refer to events beyond one's control. She accused American politicians and media of taking advantage of the situation to discredit China.

"China has always strictly respected international law and has respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries ," the ministry said in a statement.

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