Recent developments involving a Chinese balloon spotted in American airspace and the subsequent postponement of a trip to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken have been making headlines.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has identified the balloon as a civilian “airship” used for weather research, with limited self-steering capability that can be affected by wind. They have stated that there was no intention of violating the territory and airspace of any sovereign country and that they regret the unintended entry into U.S. airspace.
In response to the incident, the United States has postponed the visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing, citing that conditions are not right at this moment for the visit. A State Department official has said that another trip would be arranged “at the earliest opportunity.”
In Canada, the incident has also led to Global Affairs Canada summoning Chinese Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu. The Canadian Department of National Defence has stated that the balloon’s movements are being actively tracked by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), with Canadian intelligence agencies also working with their American counterparts.
The recent developments involving the Chinese balloon have raised questions and raised tensions between the two countries, with the incident and subsequent postponement of the visit by Secretary Blinken having an impact on relations between the two countries.