In this article you will read about US Military Shot Down The Chinese Spy Balloon.
The U.S. military jet that was flying over South Carolina shot down a Chinese spy balloon. This happened a week after the Chinese spy balloon first entered U.S. airspace. It triggered a public and dramatic spying scandal that has strained Sino-American relations.
President Joe Biden stated that he had given an order to the balloon to be taken down on Wednesday, but the Pentagon recommended that it wait until the balloon could be lowered over open water in order to protect civilians from any debris that might fall to the ground from thousands of feet (meters), above commercial air traffic.
Biden stated, “They successfully took the it down, I want to praise our aviators who achieved it,”
A number of fighter and refueling planes were involved in this mission. However, only one fighter aircraft — the F-22 fighter from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia — was shot at 2:39 PM (1939 GMT). It used a single AIM-9X supersonic heat-seeking air-to-air missile.
China strongly condemned the strike on an aircraft that it claims was being used for meteorological and scientific purposes. It also claimed that the airship had entered U.S. airspace “completely accidently” — claims which were flatly denied by U.S. officials.
The balloon was flying at approximately 18,300m (60,000 ft) and was taken down six nautical miles offshore of South Carolina.
Reporters were told by Joe Biden, the US President, that he had given an order Wednesday to remove the balloon. However, the Pentagon recommended that it be done over open waters to protect civilians from any debris hitting the Earth.
Biden stated in Maryland that “we successfully took it down, so I want to commend our aviators for doing it,”
Shortly after US officials ordered an immediate halt to all flights along the South Carolina coast, the shootdown was triggered by what they claimed to be an unidentified “national security initiative”. The flights resumed Saturday afternoon.
Television footage showed the explosion and the balloon falling towards water. According to the Associated Press news agency, an operation was underway in US territorial waters of the Atlantic Ocean in order to recover the balloon’s debris.
Reuters reported that a US military official stated that the debris field covered more than 11km (seven mile) of ocean, and that several military vessels were present at the site.
Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of Defense, described the operation as a “deliberately legal action” in response to China’s “unacceptable violation our sovereignty”.
High ranking military officers had advised against the shooting down of the balloon because the debris could pose an immediate threat to property and people on the ground.
According to the news report, Joe Biden, the US President, stated that his administration would “take care of” the Chinese spy balloon. The remarks were made at an airport in Syracuse, New York, while he was visiting his family. CNN reports that Biden answered a question about whether he would shoot the balloon down.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry claims that the balloon accidentally entered US airspace. The US State Department however called the presence the balloon on US soil a “clear violation of their sovereignty” and international law. After the balloon was seen in the United States, Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, postponed his trip to China.