US fighter jet shoots down suspected Chinese spy balloon
A US military fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday (4 February), a week after it first entered US airspace and triggered a dramatic — and public — spying saga that worsened Sino-US relations.
“They successfully took it down, and I want to compliment our aviators who did it,” Biden said.
“China had clearly asked the US to handle this properly in a calm, professional and restrained manner,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “The US had insisted on using force, obviously overreacting.”
One US military official said the debris field was spread out over seven miles (11 km) of ocean, and multiple US military vessels were on site.
US officials did not publicly disclose the balloon’s presence over the United States until Thursday.