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Chinese balloon shot down into the sea Beijing says US ‘overreaction violates international practice’

Posted by on 2023/02/06. Filed under Breaking News,China,Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

On the orders of President Joe Biden, a U.S. fighter jet shot down a giant Chinese balloon near the east coast of the United States, the Pentagon confirmed. President Biden said the operation was a success.

Several US Navy and Coast Guard ships are in the area where the balloon went down and are expected to recover the debris and send it to a laboratory for analysis, US media reported.

An F-22 fighter jet used a missile to hit the high-altitude balloon, which went down about six nautical miles off the coast of South Carolina, officials said.

China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing “strong dissatisfaction and protest” against the United States’ “use of force against a civilian unmanned airship.” China’s Foreign Ministry said the United States “insisted on using force, obviously overreacted and seriously violated international practices,” and that Beijing reserved the right to make further necessary responses.

An F-22 jet fighter targeted the high-altitude balloon with a missile, the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile. The latter crashed about six nautical miles off the US coast, a defence official told reporters.

Us defence officials also told US media that debris from the balloon had landed in 47 feet (14 metres) of water off the Myrtle Beach coast of South Carolina, shallower than expected.

On Wednesday, Biden first approved the plan to shoot down the balloon. But the Pentagon decided to wait until the balloon was above the water so as not to endanger personnel on the ground.

The FAA briefly grounded all civilian flights at three airports along the South Carolina coast on Saturday afternoon for “national security” reasons, laying the groundwork for the balloon shoot-down.

The Coast Guard also advised sailors to leave the area because of military operations “with significant risks.”

The incident has raised tensions between China and the US, with the Pentagon calling it an “unacceptable violation” of US sovereignty.America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Blinken, told Beijing it was “irresponsible” ahead of his February 5-6 visit – the first such high-level meeting between the United States and China in years.

But Beijing sought to play down Blinken’s cancellation of the visit.

In a statement on Feb. 4, China’s foreign Ministry said the two sides had no plans to formally announce the visit: “China will not accept any groundless speculation or hype.” The statement also criticised some US politicians and media for using the incident “as an excuse to attack and smear China”.

On February 3rd the Pentagon said it had spotted a second “Chinese spy balloon” – this time over Latin America, with sightings reported over Costa Rica and Venezuela.

So far, China has made no public comment on the second balloon.

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