US shoots down suspected Chinese spy balloon over Atlantic Ocean

5 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Chinese World

US shot down a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean.

According to CNN, quoting a US official, the US shot down a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean. According to the news story, US President Joe Biden approved shooting down the balloon and was supported by military officials. According to a US official, recovery efforts were underway off the coast of the Carolinas, where the alleged Chinese spy balloon was shot down by the US Navy. The balloon was initially seen in the skies over Montana earlier this week, and it travelled across the country before leaving the continental United States on Saturday.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground halt for airports in Wilmington, North Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, before the balloon was shot down. The FAA prolonged the ground halt for three airports in the Carolinas until 5:15 p.m. (local time) after the US shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon, according to CNN, citing an official.

Previously, the FAA imposed a ground halt for airports from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. (local time) to assist the US Department of Defense with “national security efforts.” However, the ground stop was later prolonged till 3:30 p.m. (local time). Top military authorities had previously warned against shooting down the balloon because the debris could endanger people and property on the ground.

According to the news article, US President Joe Biden previously stated that his administration will “take care” of the suspected Chinese spy balloon. He said this at an airstrip in Syracuse, New York, where he is visiting family. When asked if he would fire down the balloon, Biden responded, “We’re gonna take care of it,” according to CNN.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has stated that the balloon accidentally crossed US airspace. The existence of the balloon on US territory, however, was deemed a “clear violation” of US sovereignty and international law by the US State Department. After the balloon was discovered in the United States, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed his trip to China.