Job one is getting Chinese surveillance balloon out of US airspace: Blinken

Updated: Feb 4 2023 5:26AM

Washington, Feb 4 (PTI) US Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Friday said the first task at their disposal is to ensure that the Chinese surveillance balloon which is hovering over its sky is out of its territory, as he defended his decision to postpone his planned trip to Beijing.

“Job one is getting it out of our airspace. We continue to believe that having open lines of communication is important. Indeed, this incident only underscores the importance, and that's why we will maintain them. That's why, when conditions permit, I plan to go to China. But the most important thing right now is to see that this surveillance asset gets out of our airspace, and we'll take it from there,” Blinken told reporters at a news conference here.

At the joint news conference with the visiting South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, Blinken said it was very important to emphasize that the presence of this surveillance balloon over the United States skies was a clear violation of its sovereignty, international law, and clearly unacceptable.