Secretary of State Blinken Delays China Trip in Response to Surveillance Balloon Over United States

US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, postponed a planned visit to China after the Department of Defense said on Thursday, February 2, it was tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon in US airspace.

In a statement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a spokesperson said the object was a weather balloon that had been blown off course.

The Pentagon however restated its assessment on February 3 that the balloon was a surveillance aircraft.

Blinken was due to travel to China on Friday night, but in a press conference said his trip had been postponed until circumstances are more “conducive."

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Kansas City, Missouri, reported seeing a balloon travelling over over the metro area, adding that they confirmed it was not an NWS weather balloon.

This footage, taken by Kraig N Ennis on on February 3, shows an unusual object visible in the sky above Columbia, Missouri.

Storyful could not independently verify the object. Credit: Kraig N Ennis via Storyful

Video transcript