Europe 1 with AFP 10 a.m., February 06, 2023

A second Chinese balloon was spotted, this time over Latin America this weekend.

Chinese diplomacy said on Monday that this spotted balloon, designated by the United States as a "surveillance" device, came from China but was "of a civilian nature".

Chinese diplomacy said on Monday that the balloon spotted over Latin America and designated by the United States as a "surveillance" device came from China but was "of a civilian nature".

The US military shot down on Saturday, on the orders of President Joe Biden, a first Chinese balloon which had been flying over the United States for several days, provoking strong criticism from Beijing.

The day before, the US Department of Defense said it had spotted a second "Chinese surveillance balloon" over Latin America.

Colombia announced this weekend that a balloon had flown over its territory.

"After verification, it turns out that this unmanned balloon is from China. It is civilian in nature and used for flight testing," said Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

No "threat" to the security of countries

"Under the effect of the climate and due to its limitations in terms of maneuverability, this balloon seriously deviated from its planned trajectory and became lost in the sky over Latin America and the Caribbean", a- she pointed out during a regular press briefing.

She did not specify which entity the craft belonged to.

The Colombian Air Force said the balloon was detected Friday morning and monitored until it left national airspace. 

The military authorities of the South American country assured that the machine had at no time "threatened" the security and defense of the country.

No details of its whereabouts or trajectory had been given.

The American army shot down on Saturday, off the coast of South Carolina, in the south-east of the country, the first Chinese balloon, considered by the Pentagon as a spy device.

China claims it was a civilian aircraft and accused the United States of "overreacting" by using force.