China's foreign ministry says that maintaining communication channels at all levels is important and has blamed winds for pushing what it called a civilian airship into US airspace.
Beijing has said that US media and politicians had taken advantage of US allegations that China flew an espionage balloon over the northwest United States.
On Saturday, China's foreign ministry released a statement addressing US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's Friday announcement to cancel a rare planned trip to Beijing.
Moments before the decision to scrap the visit – aimed at easing tensions between the two countries – China issued a rare statement of regret and blamed winds for pushing what it called a civilian airship into US airspace.
"China... never violated the territory and airspace of any sovereign country," it said.
"Some politicians and media in the United States used the (balloon) incident as a pretext to attack and smear China."
The ministry said maintaining communication channels at all levels was important, "especially in dealing with some unexpected situations in a calm and reliable manner".
The statement further added with regards to Blinken's trip, which was to have begun Sunday and had been widely publicised in the United States: "As a matter of fact, neither China nor the United States has announced any visit.
"It is the United States' own decision to release the relevant information and we respect that."
READ MORE: Pentagon: China balloon changes course, floating over central United States
READ MORE: Blinken scraps Beijing trip as 'spy balloon' soars across US
An unverified eyewitness video shows what appears to be a suspected Chinese ‘spy balloon’— TRT World (@trtworld) February 3, 2023
The US took custody of the balloon when it entered its airspace, an official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
Read more: https://t.co/2VoiQjEKgQ pic.twitter.com/AmR9HCjCpk