(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) The Chinese foreign ministry responded to the United States military shooting down the spy balloon, claiming that the balloon was being piloted by a civilian.
Chinese officials professed that they were extremely upset by the action, as reported by the Daily Wire.
“China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and protest against the US’s use of force to attack civilian unmanned aircraft,” the statement claimed. “The Chinese side has repeatedly informed the US side after verification that the airship is for civilian use and entered the US due to force majeure – it was completely an accident.”
Chinese officials slammed the U.S. Department of Defense for their handling of the situation.
“China clearly asked the US to handle it properly in a calm, professional and restrained manner. A spokesman for the US Department of Defense also stated that the balloon will not pose a military or personal threat to ground personnel,” the statement read. “China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of relevant companies, while reserving the right to make further necessary reaction.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said China sent the balloon to the U.S. “in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.”
On Saturday, an F-22 Raptor shot down the balloon with a missile at 58,000 feet off of the coast of South Carolina.
The aircraft was initially spotted flying over Montana. Apparently the Biden administration was “well aware” that the balloon had drifted over Idaho on Tuesday, January 28. They kept the news quiet so not to interrupt the diplomatic visit the Secretary of State’s visit, to China.
The Biden administration did not take any action to bring it down until it was over the Atlantic ocean.
Biden made a statement regarding the balloon, saying he “ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible,” but the decision was made to wait until it was over the ocean to keep debris from causing damage.