Tensions between US and China are not new. While the US has been the leader of the developed world, China has been trying to establish itself as a superpower to limit the US influence.
But, in the last few months, after the dispute over the Taiwan issue, the US shooting down Chinese 'spy' balloon has badly affected the already strained relationship between the two countries.
US shoots 4th unidentified airborne object: The United States on Sunday (February 12) shot down another unidentified airborne object in its airspace, a day after it brought down a similar-looking cylindrical object over Canada.
China spots UFO over its waters: As the US has been shooting down flying objects, now China has also claimed that they have spotted an unidentified flying object over waters near Qingdao and they were preparing to shoot it down, reported the state-run Global Times newspaper.
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
High-altitude objects or UFOs? The Pentagon officials said they were still trying to determine what exactly the objects were and said they had considered using the jets' guns instead of missiles, but it proved to be too difficult.
Heightened alert or excessive reaction? While China had said that the US's decision to shoot the balloon down was an excessive reaction, General Glen VanHerck, head of NORAD and US Northern Command, said that part of the reason for the repeated shootdowns is a "heightened alert" following a spy balloon from China.
Timeline of spotting of spy balloons and UFOs
February 4: The US Air Force shoots down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina. Officials said it had been monitoring sensitive sites
February 10: The US forces shoot down another flying object off northern Alaska. Officials were unable to identify any system of propulsion or control.
February 11: A US fighter jet shoots down another high-altitude airborne object over Canada's Yukon. It was described as cylindrical and smaller previous two.
February 12: China says it has spotted an unidentified flying object over waters near Qingdao and was preparing to shoot it down.
February 12: The US shoots down a fourth flying object at 20,000 feet above Lake Huron, the Pentagon said.
Bottom line: We still don't know if the first balloon that was shot down by the US was used for spying or that the other three objects that were shot down over North America were from China. Other than that, the claims by China that it has spotted an UFO is still not verified, and even if it is true, we don't know its origins.
So, the Pentagon officials are not wrong when they say that they can't deny the fact that these flying objects could possibly be UFOs. One reason for that could be that the US officials were unable to identify any system of propulsion or control in some of these objects.