Home World What China said on relations with US after spy balloon downing: ‘Seriously…’

What China said on relations with US after spy balloon downing: ‘Seriously…’

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US decision to shoot down Chinese balloon has “seriously impacted and damaged” relations between the two countries, China’s foreign ministry said. The balloon, which US called a spy balloon, had spent several days flying over North America. The United States also called off a planned visit to Beijing by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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The balloon was shot down by a fighter jet off the coast of South Carolina owing to Beijing’s “unacceptable violation” of American sovereignty, Washington said. The move was criticised by Beijing which claimed that the balloon was a civilian aircraft that had veered off course.

“The United States’ actions have seriously impacted and damaged both sides’ efforts and progress in stabilising Sino-US relations since the Bali meeting,” China vice foreign minister Xie Feng said referring to a summit between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in November.

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Beijing “is paying close attention to the development of the situation” and “reserves the right to make further necessary reactions”, the statement added. Meanwhile, Pentagon described the airship as a “high-altitude surveillance balloon” saying that Washington had taken steps to block the “spy balloon” from collecting sensitive information.

Additionally, officials in Colombia said an object with “characteristics similar to those of a balloon” had been detected and “monitored until it left the national air space”.

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