(MENAFN- Asia Times)
On Monday, after the government in Beijing had expressed its displeasure over news that the US had shot a Chinese balloon out of the sky, some in China's media took a different tack: boasting that the country produces affordable meteorological balloons of a world-class standard.
Media said the concerned balloon was made by ChemChina's Zhuzhou Rubber Research & Design Institute, which ships about 130,000 balloons per year.
They said the company's balloons can fly up to 48,000 meters above the ground while civilian aircraft can fly at most to an altitude of 12,000 meters.
The business backstory is that the company had been in financial difficulty due to its unprofitable rubber plug business until, in 2003, it found a new, profit-making product.
The company has customers in more than 40 countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia and India. Early this year, it shipped 20,000 meteorological balloons to africa for the first time.
The foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday that China would resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the company concerned – whatever that may mean.
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