Beijing has warned Washington after the US shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon which was operating in Billings, Montana close to three nuclear silos.
President Joe Biden authorised for the Chinese balloon to be shot down by an F-22 raptor fighter jets on Saturday, six nautical miles of the coast of South Carolina and war ships were deployed to retrieve the remnants.
In a statement on Sunday, Beijing’s foreign ministry said, “China will resolutely uphold the relevant company’s legitimate rights and interests, and at the same time reserving the right to take further actions in response.”
Beijing then added, that the US was “seriously violating international practice,” despite the spy balloon being in US territory.
🚨#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
After the balloon was initially spotted close to the a nuclear missile silo field at the Malmstrom Air Force base, President Biden said he wants that balloon shot down.
On Saturday Biden said “They successfully took it down and I want to compliment our aviators who did it.”
After the balloon was shot down in US territory, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying, there is “strong dissatisfaction and protest against the US’s use of force to attack a civilian unmanned aircraft.”
Video of the balloon getting shot down over Myrtle Beach!! pic.twitter.com/nGA5RXA14P
— Jason Sellers (@JasonSellers32) February 4, 2023
“The Chinese side has repeatedly informed the US side after verification that the airship is for civilian use and entered the US due to force majeure – it was completely an accident.”
Adding, “China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of relevant companies, while reserving the right to make further necessary reaction.”
Senior US officials have dismissed Beijing’s claims it was for civilian use and that they are “confident” the balloon was being used for a spy mission.