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China Wants its Balloon Back, Blasts Biden for Acting in Unprofessional Manner
U.S. politicians treated the downing of the balloon as some kind of military triumph
China’s Foreign Ministry called on the U.S. to immediately return the “airship” that was shot out of the skies last weekend by an F-22 after Washington identified it as a “spy balloon.”
Mao Ning, a spokeswoman from the ministry, said during a press briefing Tuesday that the balloon does not belong to the U.S., it belongs to China, according to RT, the Russian outlet.
She accused Washington of overreacting and acting in an unprofessional manner with the goal of smearing Beijing. China has insisted that the balloon was a civilian meteorological research airship.
Tensions between China and the U.S. are hitting new lows. Wei Fenghe, the Chinese military head, refused a call with Lloyd Austin, the U.S. military chief, on Tuesday.
The Trends Journal emailed the State Department to see if it will make good on China’s request and did not hear back.
American F-22 fighters successfully shot down a Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon off the South Carolina coast last weekend that the U.S. said was being used by Beijing to “surveil strategic sites.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the incursion an “unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”
The Defense Department said it began tracking the balloon, which was carrying a payload the size of three buses, over the Aleutian Islands on 28 January.
The balloon floated over Alaska, Canada, and then re-entered U.S. airspace over Idaho, a statement read. The U.S. claimed it did not shoot down the balloon over land to prevent “undue risk” to civilians.
President Joe Biden said Saturday that he ordered the Pentagon to shoot the balloon down “as soon as possible” on Wednesday.
The balloon was eventually picked off by the Raptor which fired one AIM-9X Sidewinder missile that cost We the People of Slavelandia about $400,000. The statement said, “F-15 Eagles flying from Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, supported the F-22.”
“Long before the shoot down, U.S. officials took steps to protect against the balloon’s collection of sensitive information, mitigating its intelligence value to the Chinese,” the statement read.
China said the U.S. overreacted over a weather balloon.
“China strongly disapproves of and protests against the U.S. attack on a civilian unmanned airship by force,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday morning, according to the South China Morning Post.
“The U.S.’s use of force is a clear overreaction and a serious violation of international practice,” the ministry said, before noting that Beijing reserves the right to make “further responses that are necessary.”
Politicians from the U.S. celebrated the downing of the balloon.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., could barely contain his joy. He thanked the “men and women of the United States military who were responsible for completing the mission to shoot down the Chinese surveillance balloon.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for a Senate hearing later this month. He credited the Biden administration for being “calm, calculating, and effective.” Schumer said retrieving the balloon will allow the U.S. to “learn a great deal about China’s capabilities and what they’re up to.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and some Republicans were critical of the Biden administration and said the balloon should have been taken out before crossing the U.S.
“Damage to U.S. national security and American sovereignty was already done,” she said.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee said, “I can assure you that if we fly a balloon over China, they’re going to shoot it down, and probably a lot sooner than we did.”