The US military has shot down another unidentified flying object, this time over Lake Huron close to the Canadian border.
The Pentagon says the balloon, believed to be carrying sensors and surveillance equipment, was manoeuvrable and showed it could change course from Canada, and then down into USA.
The US has since ordered the disruption of an unmanned octagonal object in Michigan near the Canadian border, making it the fourth object to be taken out in eight days. In addition, fighter pilots have shot down smaller unidentified objects in Alaska and northern Canada during the 10th and 11th of February, respectively.
The US is on heightened alert following its destruction of a suspected Chinese spy balloon on February 4th. This is the third incident in three days that US fighter jets have shot down an unidentified high-altitude object.
President Joe Biden has ordered an object to be shot down over Alaska, and on Saturday an object was shot down over the Yukon in north-west Canada.
Fighter pilots also shot down smaller unidentified objects over Alaska on 10 February and northern Canada on 11 February.
Both countries are attempting to recover the debris of the objects, though the search in Alaska is being hampered by Arctic conditions.
In response to the first balloon incident, US Secretary of State Antony Blinen cancelled his planned trip to Beijing and denounced China’s alleged high-altitude spying as “unacceptable and irresponsible”.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the government would do “whatever it takes” to keep the country safe from the threat of spy balloons.
“We have something called the quick reaction alert force which involves Typhoon planes, which are kept on 24/7 readiness to police our airspace, which is incredibly important,” he added.
Questioned on Monday, Beijing said the US had made many airspace breaches.
“It’s not uncommon as well for the US to illegally enter the airspace of other countries,” said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular press briefing.
“Since last year alone, US balloons have illegally flown above China more than 10 times without any approval from Chinese authorities.”
“The first thing the US side should do is start with a clean slate, undergo some self-reflection, instead of smearing and accusing China,” he added.
He said Beijing had responded to the incursions in a “responsible and professional” manner.
“If you want to know more about US high-altitude balloons illegally entering China’s airspace, I suggest you refer to the US side,” he said.
Chinese state-affiliated media reported over the weekend that an unidentified flying object had been spotted off the country’s east coast, with the military preparing to shoot it down.