The Chinese government said Saturday it may “respond further” after President Joe Biden had the spy balloon shot down.
The U.S. took down the spy balloon Saturday afternoon after the craft was seen floating over the continental U.S. for several days. The Pentagon was tracking the balloon as it headed eastward over the Carolinas before hovering above the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. military jets were seen flying near the balloon while there were several recovery vessels in the waters below.
Biden ordered the Pentagon to take down the balloon, which is believed to have been spying on “strategic sites” in the U.S., as soon as it was safe, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.
Biden reportedly wanted the balloon to be taken down earlier but military officials recommended against it warning that the falling debris could possible injure those on the ground below.
🚨#BREAKING: Incredible HD footage of the Chinese surveillance balloon being shot down
Watch incredible HD video of the moment when the Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down by a single missile from an F-22 fighter jet from Langley Air Force Base pic.twitter.com/KjwTrgcvcb
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 4, 2023
The Chinese government responded to the shooting of the balloon. (RELATED: Here’s How The Chinese Responded When A US Spy Plane Neared Chinese Air Space)
“For the United States to insist on using armed forces is clearly an excessive reaction that seriously violates international convention,” the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “China will resolutely defend the legitimate rights and interests of the enterprises involved, and retains the right to respond further.”