China is getting ready to take down an unidentified object flying over waters near the port city of Qingdao, which is home to a major naval base for the People’s Liberation Army, Chinese news outlet The Paper reported.
An employee at the marine development authority of Qingdao’s Jimo district said “relevant authorities” are preparing to bring down the object, the report said. The employee was not informed about what the object was.
The Jianggezhuang Naval Base, located about 15 miles east of Qingdao, hosts both ballistic and nuclear attack submarines and the country’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. It is the command headquarters of the country’s North Sea Fleet.
The US and Canada brought down three high-altitude airborne objects this month, including one Washington said was sent deliberately by China for surveillance. Beijing countered that it was a harmless weather-monitoring device that blew off course.
“China reserves the right to use necessary means to deal with similar situations,” China’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei said in a statement on Feb. 5, after the US shot down the first of the devices off the South Carolina coast.
The White House said on Sunday it’s too early to characterize the two latest objects shot down by US fighter jets over North America after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said they are believed to have been high-altitude balloons. The objects were shot down on Friday over Alaska and on Saturday over Canada.