(Bloomberg) -- China said a balloon that the Pentagon spotted over Latin America was blown off course, echoing an explanation for a vehicle seen over US military sites that the Biden administration has rejected.

“It has made an unintended entry into the airspace of Latin American countries,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a regular news briefing Monday in Beijing. “It’s for civilian purposes, and it is affected by the weather and with limited self-steering capability.” 

Mao said China follows international law and “we will not pose any threat to any country, and all countries say they understand this.”

The US Defense Department said Friday that a balloon was detected over Latin America, with Brigadier General Pat Ryder adding in a statement that “we now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon.” Local media reported the balloon flying over Costa Rica, Colombia and Venezuela without incident.

Venezuela Condemns US for Shooting Down Chinese Balloon

In the briefing Monday, Mao repeated China’s assertion that the balloon that passed over US territory last week was an “isolated incident.” When asked why China had lost control of two balloons across the Pacific Ocean, Mao said: “I’m not an expert, so it’s not convenient for me to answer the question.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed his trip to Beijing over the spat, missing a chance to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. Mao said it would be up to the US to announce any future trip by Blinken.

She repeated China’s assertion that the US overreacted by shooting down the balloon off its east coast Saturday, saying Washington “keeps hyping-up” the issue. “It is unacceptable and irresponsible,” Mao added.

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