China spots mystery object over waters near northern port city

  • Authorities say they will prepare to be able to shoot down the unidentified vessel
  • Fishing boats told to be on alert and ‘avoid risks’, report says

An unidentified flying object was detected over waters near a northern Chinese port city close to the Bohai Sea, with local authorities saying they were ready to shoot it down, mainland media reported on Sunday.

The Qingdao Marine Development Bureau sent a message to fishing boats that an unidentified flying object was detected in waters near Rizhao and authorities were preparing to be able to shoot it down, Shanghai-based news outlet The Paper reported on Sunday. Fishing boats were ordered to be on alert and “avoid risks”, the report said, without saying when the message was sent or when the object was sighted.

“If debris falls around your boat, please help take pictures as evidence. If conditions allow, please help salvage it,” the message said.

The bureau confirmed to The Paper that it had issued a security alert to nearby fishing boats but did not have an update on what the object was. The sighting comes as the People’s Liberation Army holds a week-long military exercise in the Bohai Strait, an area connecting the Bohai Sea and the northern part of the Yellow Sea. The exercises started on Sunday, according to a notice issued by the maritime safety authorities in Dalian, a port city in the northern province of Liaoning.

It also comes a week after the United States shot down what it says was a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic.

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China, spy balloon, USA