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    China Says More Than 10 US Balloons Flew in its Airspace

    China Says More Than 10 US Balloons Flew in its Airspace

    — China on Monday said more than 10 U.S. high-altitude balloons have flown in its airspace during the past year without its permission, following 's accusation that Beijing operates a fleet of surveillance balloons around the world. The United States denied that it operates any surveillance balloons over China.

    The Chinese allegation came after the U.S. shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had crossed from Alaska to South Carolina, sparking a crisis in bilateral relations that have spiraled to their lowest level in decades.

    Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin gave no details about the alleged U.S. balloons, how they had been dealt with or whether they had government or links.

    “It is also common for U.S. balloons to illegally enter the airspace of other countries,” Wang said at a daily briefing. “Since last year, U.S. high-altitude balloons have illegally flown over China's airspace more than 10 times without the approval of Chinese authorities.”

    Wang said the U.S. should “first reflect on itself and change course, rather than smear and instigate a confrontation.”

    China says the balloon shot down by the U.S. was an unmanned airship made for meteorological research that had been blown off course. It has accused the U.S. of overreacting by shooting it down and threatened to take unspecified action in response.

    In Washington, National Security Council…

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