Beijing (IP) - China says high-altitude balloons from the United States have sailed across Chinese airspace without permission more than 10 times since last year.

Iran PressAsia: For the first time in the ‘spy balloon’ drama, Beijing accuses Americans of flying their own devices over China without permission.

China Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin says it was ‘completely an accident’ that China’s civilian unmanned airship strayed into US airspace.

The development comes a day after US jets shot down a fourth flying object that the Pentagon said flew near sensitive military sites and was a risk to civilian aircraft.

The row started when a suspected Chinese spy balloon was shot down by the US off the coast of South Carolina earlier this month.

The White House on February 13, 2023, denied Beijing’s accusation that the United States has been sending balloons over China to conduct surveillance, as tensions about espionage rise between the two superpowers.

"It is China that has a high-altitude surveillance balloon program for intelligence collection, that it has used to violate the sovereignty of the U.S. and over 40 countries across 5 continents," National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said on Twitter, adding that " Any claim that the U.S. government operates surveillance balloons over the PRC is false".

China said the balloon shot down by the US over South Carolina was an unmanned airship made for meteorological research that had been blown off course.


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