The US military shot down the Chinese spy balloon that has been floating above the United States for days, flying by some of our most sensitive military installations. It was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean Saturday afternoon after the FAA grounded flights at three airports.
Fox News confirmed the closure of the airports, “The Federal Aviation Administration ordered a ground stop at three airports and closed airspace in parts of North and South Carolina effective until 2:45 E.T., citing ‘national security initiatives” in the area.'”
The balloon was off the coast of South Carolina when it was targeted and brought down, according to Fox News.
A senior defense official commented on Thursday during a briefing that the US was “confident” that the balloon originated from China. China’s foreign ministry acknowledged the balloon was theirs on Friday, claiming it was a civilian weather aircraft that had blown 5,000 miles off course, which military leaders did not believe for an instant.
🚨 BREAKING: The U.S. has shot down the Chinese Spy Balloon off of the coast of the Carolinas.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 4, 2023
“Senior State Department officials disputed that claim, identifying it as Chinese surveillance craft and calling its presence in US airspace an ‘unacceptable’ violation of American sovereignty. Secretary of State Antony Blinken indefinitely postponed a planned trip to China to meet with President Xi Jinping because of the incident and called China’s actions ‘irresponsible’ in a phone call with his counterpart Wang Yi on Friday,” Fox News reported.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs made light of Blinken’s decision to cancel the trip even as diplomatic relations have become very tense over the balloon.
“In actuality, the US and China have never announced any visit, the US making any such announcement is their own business, and we respect that,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs falsely claimed in a statement Saturday morning.
President Biden told reporters on Saturday, “We’re going to take care of it.”
. @JoeBiden allowed the Chinese to collect data on Americans for more than a week – and only shot the balloon down AFTER the public found out.
The reason? Radical elements of the Democrat party didn’t want to upset the Chinese while negotiating a climate change statement.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) February 4, 2023
Which they did. However, it is likely that any intel collected by the balloon was already sent back to the Chinese. The shooting down of the spy balloon appears to be performative at best.
A senior US official had previously told Fox News on Saturday that they were considering shooting down the balloon over the ocean so no one would get hurt. Many contend that it should have been shot down the minute it hit our radar and we confirmed it was from the Chinese.
Three airports in North & South Carolina are CLOSED because of the Chinese Spy Balloon. How is this allowed to happen? This balloon should’ve been SHOT DOWN immediately after entering our airspace. Joe Biden is letting China HUMILIATE us!
— Ronny Jackson (@RonnyJacksonTX) February 4, 2023
The Pentagon acknowledged reports of a second balloon flying over Latin America. “We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, announced in a statement.
Another official remarked that the government could potentially recover the spy balloon.
Chinese officials have denied accusations of spying and have asked that the US not “smear” it because of the balloon.
Wang Yi stated that China “has always strictly followed international law, we do not accept any groundless speculation and hype. Faced with unexpected situations, both parties need to keep calm, communicate in a timely manner, avoid misjudgments and manage differences.”
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