China’s foreign ministry said in a statement, “China expresses serious dissatisfaction and protests against the use of force by the United States to attack the unmanned civilian airship.”
On Saturday, the Biden administration praised the Pentagon for shooting down an alleged Chinese Surveillance balloon in International waters off the U.S. Atlantic coast. At the same time, China expressed “deep dissatisfaction” and threatened “appropriate reactions.”
Beijing’s foreign ministry stated, “China expressed serious displeasure and protested against the use of force by the United States to attack the unmanned civilian airship.” It also claimed that Chine “reserved the right to make necessary future reactions,” read the statement.
According to Pentagon authorities, the craft flew for days over North America before being shot down by a missile from an F-22 jet off the coast of South Carolina. It crashed into the water only 14 meters deep.
Defense Secretary Lioyd Austin stated that the Chinese balloon violated the rule “in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.”
Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized the U.S. action in a statement on Sunday, saying the aircraft was a “civilian” and “clearly exaggerated and seriously violating international practice.”
On Thursday, The Pentagon announced that it had discovered a Chinese airship hovering over Montana, saying it had “very high confidence” the balloon had been sent to the U.S. to collect sensitive information.
Later on Friday, the State Department announced the postponement of the U.S. secretary of State Blinken’s travel to Beijing, which was supposed to meet China on 5-6 February.
Over the past few years, the relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated over several points, including trade issues, the Taiwan matter, the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific Ocean line of communication and free movement.
The Balloon issue is the latest tension between China and The U.S. According to a senior defence official on Saturday, over the past years, Chinese balloons have been spotted over countries across five continents, including East Asia, South Asia, and Europe.