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China says its surveillance balloon over LatAm also went off course

China said Monday that the surveillance balloon the Pentagon detected over Latin America had also veered off course, the same explanation it gave for the object the US detected over its territory and then shot down.

Washington has rejected Beijing’s explanation.

“It has made an unintentional entry into the airspace of Latin American countries,” Mao Ning, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, told a press conference in Beijing on Monday.

“It is for civilian purposes, affected by weather conditions and with limited self-steering capability.”

Mao said China abides by international law and “poses no threat to any country, and all countries say they understand that.”

The US Defense Department reported Friday the detection of the balloon in Latin America.

Local media reported it flew over Costa Rica, Colombia, and Venezuela without incident.

At Monday’s briefing, Mao repeated China’s claim that the balloon that passed over US territory last week was an “isolated incident.”

When asked why China had lost control of two balloons across the Pacific Ocean, Mao said, “I am not an expert, so it is not convenient for me to answer the question.”

With information from Bloomberg

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