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China Denounces US Claims of Spy Balloon as Information Warfare

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning has dismissed the recent claims made by the United States that China is operating an airship surveillance system as nothing but “information warfare.” Last week’s flight of an unmanned Chinese balloon across the US, followed by its eventual shooting down, has heightened tensions between the two nations.

According to Mao, the allegations that Beijing is operating a network of spy airships over the US are both “irresponsible” and an attempt to wage “information warfare against China.” The diplomat went on to note that the world is aware of which country has the largest spy and monitoring systems.

The Pentagon recently stated that the destroyed airship was part of a “larger Chinese surveillance balloon program” that has been ongoing for “several years,” according to Brigadier General Pat Ryder. White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre also stated that China has a “fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations,” which have allegedly violated the sovereignty of other countries.

However, Mao has maintained that the balloon was a civilian weather research airship that had strayed off course, and that China had communicated its peaceful intent to the US. The diplomat has also accused the US of “deliberately hyping up the matter.”

In response to the incident, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has cancelled his planned visit to China. Last weekend, the US destroyed the Chinese balloon with a missile strike from an F-22 fighter jet after it drifted off the coast of South Carolina. Beijing has criticized this decision as “unacceptable and irresponsible.”

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