Watch | How US Fighter Jet Destroys Chinese Spy Balloon Off Carolina Coast
Last Updated: February 05, 2023, 08:19 IST
American officials first said on Thursday that they were tracking a large Chinese surveillance balloon in the US skies (Twitter/@GrahamAllen_1)
Upon the Pentagon’s action to shoot down the balloon, the Chinese foreign ministry on Sunday said it had “clearly requested that the United States properly handle the matter in a calm, professional and restrained manner”
The United States Pentagon on Saturday shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon spotted flying over North America, that had ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Beijing. Soon after the incident, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had called the operation a “deliberate and lawful action” that came in response to China’s “unacceptable violation of our sovereignty”.
US President Joe Biden thanked the aviators for taking a swift action. “They successfully took it down…I want to compliment our aviators who did it,” he said during a White House Press Conference.
“Poof it Goes”, or so it appears in a video going viral on social media, that shows how a US missile shot from an F-22 jet down the spy balloon off the Carolina coast. Have a look:
According to an AFP report, American officials first said on Thursday that they were tracking a large Chinese “surveillance balloon” in the US skies. The next day, Secretary of State Antony Blinken decided to scrap a rare trip to Beijing designed to contain rising US-China tensions.
Earlier, China had denied any links to the aircraft but after initial hesitation, Beijing admitted to its ownership. It said the “airship” was a weather balloon that had been blown off course.
Upon the Pentagon’s action to shoot down the balloon, the Chinese foreign ministry on Sunday said it had “clearly requested that the United States properly handle the matter in a calm, professional and restrained manner”.
Beijing said the US “insisted on using force, clearly overreacting and seriously violating international practice”. “China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of relevant enterprises and reserve the right to make further necessary responses,” China said in a statement.
Multiple fighter and refueling aircraft were involved in the mission, but only one — an F-22 fighter jet from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia — took the shot at 2:39 p.m. (1939 GMT), using a single AIM-9X supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile, a Reuters report quoted a senior U.S. military official as saying.
The Chinese spy balloon was shot down about six nautical miles off the U.S. coast, over relatively shallow water. As per reports, the spy balloon allegedly aided efforts to recover elements of the Chinese surveillance equipment in the coming days.
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