Zhuzhou Rubber said it ‘is mainly engaged in manufacturing sounding balloons of natural latex in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations’
The balloon fired by the United States earlier this month had no relation to the Chinese weather balloon producer Zhuzhou Rubber Research & Design Institute, which also said it wasn’t a military organization.
Zhuzhou Rubber, a unit of Chinese state chemical giant ChemChina, said it “is mainly engaged in manufacturing sounding balloons of natural latex in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.” It continued: “Our products are used for daily weather forecasting by weather stations, and do NOT have any connection with the so-called and reported U.S. balloon incident.”
A week-long observation of a balloon believed to be from China – which Beijing claims was a government spy plane – was shot down off the coast of the United States at President Joe Biden’s request. China has criticized the American response to the balloon incident, calling it “hysterical” and “absurd” behavior.
China’s regulator of state-owned enterprises claimed in a statement last year that Zhuzhou Rubber, which produces 75 percent of the high-altitude balloons used by the Chinese Meteorological Administration, dominates the country’s weather balloon industry.