Tensions Between US, China Rise Amid Balloon Trouble

Photo by iStrfry , Marcus on Unsplash

(ConservativeHub.com) – The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down last week. Tensions appear to be rising between the United States and Beijing, as Beijing has condemned the US’s decision to shoot the balloon down.

Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China, in a statement on Sunday called the decision a “clear overreaction” and that following this incident, China would reserve the right to act in a similar manner if a similar situation arises, according to NBC News.

China’s Foreign Ministry also released its own statement, calling the shooting down of the aircraft “a serious violation of international customary practice.” According to AP News, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tried to reach out to Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe after the aircraft was brought down, but got radio silence.

China has maintained that the balloon was simply used for “meteorological purposes” and research. This is a claim that they reaffirmed in their recent statements where they called the balloon a “civilian unmanned airship.”

The balloon was brought down off the coast of South Carolina on February 4 by an American F-22 Raptor. Following the plane being brought down, the US military was set on recovering as much of the debris from the balloon as possible. They are trying to gather as much information about the aircraft from the debris as they possibly can.

The aircraft was seen for the first time in Montana. In Montana, there is the Malmstrom Air Force Base, the site of one of America’s three nuclear missile silo fields. The balloon continued to travel over Montana, Missouri and Kansas. President Biden has said that he had informed the Pentagon that the balloon needed to be brought down from the first briefing on Wednesday.

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