Xi Jinping’s government expressed its strong discontent and considered that it was a “disproportionate” maneuver, for which it announced that it reserves the right to give “more answers if necessary”.
Beijing protested the downing of an alleged Chinese spy balloon flying over the United States on Sunday, accusing Washington of “reacting clearly disproportionately” and incurring a “serious violation of international practices.”
“China expresses its strong discontent and protests against the use of force by the United States to attack a civilian unmanned aircraft,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that it will reserve “the right to provide further responses. if necessary”.
The plane had been flying over the United States for several days, raising tensions between Washington and Beijing, before it was struck down by a missile fired from an F-22 jet on Saturday, Pentagon officials said.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called the operation “a deliberate and lawful action” in response to China’s “unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”
US officials first said Thursday that they were tracking a huge Chinese “surveillance balloon” in the sky over the United States.
The report led Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a rare trip to Beijing intended to contain rising tensions between the two countries.
Beijing on Friday acknowledged ownership of the “aircraft” but said it was a weather balloon that had lost its course.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it “clearly requested the United States to properly handle the situation in a calm, professional and moderate manner.”
Beijing said the United States “insisted on the use of force” and called the move “clearly disproportionate.” In addition, he accused Washington of committing a “serious violation of international practices.”
“China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the affected companies and reserve the right to provide further responses if necessary,” the minister added in a statement.
In videos broadcast on television networks on Saturday, the balloon appeared to fall vertically after impact. At the time it was shot down, it was at about 18 km altitude, about 11 km from the coast, according to Pentagon officials.
Suspended at three airports in the southeastern United States for reasons of “national security”, traffic resumed after the operation, the US civil aviation regulator (FAA) announced.
“After careful analysis, U.S. military commanders determined that shooting down the balloon while above the ground posed an unreasonable risk to people due to the size and altitude of the balloon and its surveillance payload,” the statement said. Defense Minister.
That is why the army waited to be able to shoot it down “safely above our territorial waters, closely monitoring its path and information gathering activities.”
According to Washington, the balloon was flying above commercial air traffic and posed “no military or physical threat to people on the ground.” But he refused to specify whether the device was moved by the wind or in a controlled manner.
It flew over the state of Montana, which is home to nuclear missile facilities.
It is not the first time that the US military has registered an intrusion of this type, but this aircraft remained longer than others in US airspace.
Blinken’s visit to China reportedly came at a time when the two superpowers are trying to prevent tensions from escalating into open conflict.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.