According to China’s state-run media, an unexplained object has been sighted near its coast and military troops will shoot it down.
The government-controlled Global Times did not provide any specifics in a tweet.
“Local maritime authorities in East China’s Shandong Province announced on Sunday that they had spotted an unidentified flying object in waters near the coastal city of Rizhao in the province and were preparing to shoot it down, reminding fishermen to be safe via messages,” the agency announced in a Twitter post.
Local maritime authorities in East China's Shandong Province announced on Sunday that they had spotted an unidentified flying object in waters near the coastal city of Rizhao in the province and were preparing to shoot it down, reminding fishermen to be safe via messages. pic.twitter.com/aQbUntwy4m
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) February 12, 2023
According to the South China Morning Post, the Qingdao Marine Development Bureau has issued a warning to fishing vessels.
The Morning Post said that fishing vessels were instructed to “avoid risks,” citing the Shanghai-based news site The Paper.
“If debris falls around your boat, please help take pictures as evidence. If conditions allow, please help salvage it,” the message to fishermen said, according to the Morning Post.
— Dakotah Holcomb (@DakFromWalmart) February 12, 2023
The US Seventh Fleet is now conducting maneuvers in the South China Sea, according to The Associated Press.
The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit were performing “integrated expeditionary strike force operations,” according to a statement from the Seventh Fleet, as reported by the Associated Press.
Claims of an object off the coast of China surfaced following a rash of sightings in North America.
On February 4, a Chinese spy balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina. Smaller objects were shot down Friday off the northern coast of Alaska and Saturday over northern Canada, according to reports.
Despite China’s insistence that the balloon that transited North America was a civilian vessel that had deviated from its trajectory, the Biden administration initiated action against five corporations and one research facility on Friday, according to The Associated Press.
The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security said the entities were punished for “their support to China’s military modernization efforts, specifically the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) aerospace programs including airships and balloons.”
“The PLA is utilizing High Altitude Balloons (HAB) for intelligence and reconnaissance activities,” it said, according to the AP.
A senior State Department official said on Thursday that the balloon linked to China “was clearly for intelligence surveillance and inconsistent with the equipment onboard for weather balloons,” according to the U.K. Guardian.
“It had multiple antennas to include an array likely capable of collecting and geolocating communications,” the official said, according to the Guardian.