Germany concerned by US-China tensions over "spy" balloon incident

Germany concerned by US-China tensions over "spy" balloon incident

'We hope that the incident will not lead to further tensions or an escalation in the American-Chinese relationship,' says official

By Oliver Towfigh Nia

BERLIN (AA) - Germany on Monday expressed concern over tensions between Washington and Beijing over a suspected Chinese spy balloon in American airspace.

Reports of the balloon flying over the US and being shot down were "noted with concern," deputy government spokesman Wolfgang Buchner told reporters in Berlin.

"We hope that the incident will not lead to further tensions or an escalation in the American-Chinese relationship," he said.

While officials have not said whether similar balloons may have been spotted in German airspace, the Interior Ministry assured that security agencies were monitoring any possible foreign espionage.

US fighter jets brought the spy balloon down over US territorial waters on Saturday as Washington believes it was monitoring sensitive military sites.

Its discovery set off a diplomatic crisis, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling off an imminent trip to China.

Beijing denied that the balloon was used for spying and claimed it was a "civilian" airship blown off course.

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