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China protests shooting of balloon, threatens retaliation



The Chinese government has protested the shooting down of its surveillance balloon by United States, and has threatened to take retaliatory measures to redress the action.

The spokesperson of China’s Defense Ministry, Tan Kefei, in a statement on Sunday, said the Asian country ‘reserves the right’ to deal with ‘similar situations’ after US jets brought down its high-altitude balloon.

“The US used force to attack our civilian unmanned airship, which is an obvious overreaction. We express solemn protest against this move by the US side,” Kefei said.

“China reserves the right to use necessary means to deal with similar situations,” he added.

READ ALSO:US shoots down suspected Chinese surveillance airship over Atlantic

Similarly, China’s Foreign Ministry, earlier on Sunday, accused the US of “overreacting” and “seriously violating international practice,” after the US Department of Defence announced that military fighter jets had shot down the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean in a mission approved and hailed by President Joe Biden.

“The Chinese side has repeatedly informed the US side after verification that the airship is for civilian use and entered the US due to force majeure; it was completely an accident,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement said.

“China had clearly asked the US to handle it properly in a calm, professional and restrained manner,” the statement added.

China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of relevant companies, while reserving the right to make further necessary reaction,” the foreign ministry added.

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