China says balloon over US airspace is civilian airship

al jazeera​​​

    China’s foreign ministry has expressed regret over what it called a civilian balloon straying into United States airspace.
    In a statement on Friday, the ministry said the balloon suspected by the US of conducting surveillance was a civilian “airship” used for research, mainly for meteorological purposes.
    The statement said the airship has limited steering capability and “deviated far from its planned course” because of winds.
    The Pentagon had earlier said it was “tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon”.
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