A Chinese “spy” balloon that was shot down over the US was likely heading to Guam and then Hawaii, a US official has said.
What the US has described as a suspected Chinese spy balloon was shot down off the South Carolina coast on 4 February.
Two other objects have also been shot down, on 11 February and 12 February.
But after recovering the wreckage of the balloon downed on 4 February, a US official says it’s believed it was heading to Hawaii and Guam, in the Pacific Ocean, before it was blown off course.
What are spy balloons?
Timeline – where UFOs have been downed so far
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin refused to answer a question about the balloon’s intended destination when asked during a briefing on Thursday, instead repeating the line that the US should not “overreact”.
Since the balloon was shot down, the US says it has retrieved “key sensors” from the object, as well as a large amount of debris.
The US had been tracking the balloon since it lifted off from Hainan Island in southern China in late January, the New York Times reported.
No debris has yet been recovered from the other objects which have been shot down.
One of the UFOs fell off the coast of Alaska in ice and snow.
Another was shot down over the Yukon territory in Canada.
Later on Thursday, President Joe Biden will deliver a speech about the objects, according to NBC News.
Mr Biden is expected to explain how he has tasked his administration with setting parameters about how to deal with aerial balloons and other objects spotted in US airspace in the future.
Japan has also threatened to take action against unmanned vehicles in its airspace, saying it plans to allow its military to shoot them down, and warning China that flying surveillance balloons overhead is “unacceptable”.
While in Taiwan – which China claims as its own – the remains of a weather balloon have been found.
Taiwan’s military said on Thursday it had found the remains of a suspected Chinese weather balloon crashed on a remote and strategically located island near the Chinese coast.
In a statement, the Taiwanese army said: “The preliminary investigation determined that the remains were of a meteorological detecting instrument, which have been collected by the relevant departments for further evaluation.”