US shoots down Chinese weather balloon
A U.S fighter jet destroyed chinese weather balloon at the moment it was over the ocean.
The US has shot down what it termed a “Chinese surveillance balloon” off the coast of South Carolina. After traversing the country unimpeded for days, President Joe Biden said earlier on Saturday that he’d “take care of it.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed the downing of the balloon shortly afterwards, saying that the military waited until the craft was over open water to minimize the threat to civilians on the ground.
Prior to the operation, the Federal Aviation Administration closed airspace over parts of North and South Carolina, in anticipation of the military operation to bring a weather balloon down.
The balloon, which is reportedly being used for research purposes, accidentally went off course and was floating over U.S. airspace, according to China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. But it’s causing havoc in the realm of U.S. national security: The Defense Department claims the balloon is actually being used for surveillance — and this conflicting view even led Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone a trip to Beijing. The balloon’s presence comes at a time of increased tension between China and the U.S. over national security.