Chinese surveillance balloon shot down


Photo by MCSI Tyler Thompson/US Navy, VIA

U.S. Navy collects fallen Chinese surveillance balloon.

A Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down by a U.S. Air Force fighter off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, after crossing a U.S. military site on Feb. 4.

Chinese officials responded saying its occurrence over military bases was not intended. 

“The presence of the balloon in the skies above the U.S. dealt a severe blow to the already strained U.S. [and] Chinese relations that have been in a downward spiral for years,” Time Magazine stated in an article. 

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Xie Feng told Time magazine his complaints on America’s efforts when shooting down China’s unmanned airship.

“However, the United States turned a deaf ear and insisted on indiscriminate use of force against the civilian airship that was about to leave the United States airspace, obviously overreacted and seriously violated the spirit of international law and international practice,” Feng said. 

Wang Wenbin, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, claims in a conference that the U.S. has also been caught flying spy balloons into Beijing a number of times. 

“The illegal intrusion of airspace of other countries by U.S. balloons is also commonplace just since last year the U.S.’s high altitude balloons illegally entered Chinese airspace more than 10 times without the improval of the relevant Chinese authorities,” Wenbin stated. 

Since spotting the first balloon, the U.S. military has shot down other unidentified objects. 

Quickly responders from China defended themselves saying they were commercial weather balloons and had no intention of flying the balloon over sensitive military bases here in the U.S. 

“We have already clearly stated multiple times that the Chinese unmanned civilian airship that strayed into the U.S. airspace was completely a force majeure accident,” Wenbin said. 

Chinese officials say procedures the U.S. undertook to shoot down the spy balloon were uncalled for and hypercritical. 

“The U.S. frequent firing of advanced missiles used to strike down unidentified flying objects is an overreaction of excessive force […] The first thing the U.S. side should do is start with a clean state and undergo some self reflection instead of smearing and accusing China,” Wenbin said. 

The pentagon released reports of Chinese surveillance near Fla. in past years.

“We have a number of military bases in Florida, anything that affects our military affects us,” Mark Skeie, AP Human Geography teacher at Jupiter High, said.