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US-China tensions

Chinese balloon may be meant to test U.S. surveillance, analyst says

Beijing says device is 'civilian' in nature and strayed into American airspace

The Chinese balloon spotted over the northern U.S. has further heightened tensions between the two countries.    © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- The Chinese high-altitude balloon recently spotted flying over the northern U.S. may be intended to observe military sites or test America's own surveillance capabilities, experts familiar with the situation suggest.

"We are confident that this high-altitude surveillance balloon belongs to the PRC," a senior defense official told reporters Thursday, referring to the People's Republic of China. The U.S. continues to monitor the balloon, he said.

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