The US military shot down a Chinese-owned balloon that fell into the airspace of the country. On Saturday, February 4, The Associated Press reported.
In turn, the Fox News channel also confirmed this information, adding that the device was shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
Later, the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, clarified that the balloon was shot down with the help of a fighter. According to him, the device was used to monitor strategic facilities in the United States.
In addition, as the head of the defense department clarified, President Joe Biden decided to shoot down the balloon, provided that this would avoid risk to the civilian population. According to his decree, the Pentagon has developed an option for the safe elimination of the object, while closely monitoring its trajectory and activity.
Earlier in the day, ABC announced the suspension of three airports in North and South Carolina by the FAA. The measures were taken to support the efforts of the US Department of Defense to ensure the safety of the population.
On the night of February 3, a huge balloon was seen in the sky over the States. The Pentagon then stated that it was a Chinese, presumably intelligence apparatus, but it did not pose a danger to the population, and all necessary measures to prevent the leakage of valuable information were promptly taken.
The ball was not knocked down. However, according to Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder, the defense department considered the very fact of intrusion into US airspace a violation of international law.
At the same time, the head of the office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC Central Committee), member of the Politburo Wang Yi, in a conversation with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, noted that China does not accept unfounded speculation and hype because of the balloon situation.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Beijing opposes the attacks and slander of Washington after the “accidental” hit of a Chinese balloon in the United States. According to the representative of the department, the balloon was indeed brought by the wind from the territory of China, but we are talking about a civilian airship, which was used for scientific research and should not have been over the States.