Asia - Pacific

China calls US downing of unmanned airship 'overreaction'

Experts say US reaction could escalate tensions between 2 countries

Anadolu Staff  | 05.02.2023 - Update : 06.02.2023
China calls US downing of unmanned airship 'overreaction'


Protesting the downing of its civilian unmanned airship by the US military, the Chinese Defense Ministry on Sunday called the move an "overreaction."

The US shot down the suspected Chinese “spy” balloon Saturday which had been spotted above US airspace off the coast of the state of South Carolina.

Beijing, however, said the airship made an unintended entry into the US airspace due to force majeure.

The US attack on a Chinese civilian unmanned airship is an obvious overreaction, Senior Col. Tan Kefei, a spokesperson at China's Ministry of National Defense, said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement came after an F-22 fighter of the US Air Force fired an AIM-9X air-to-air missile and shot down the balloon, the Pentagon said on its website, despite admitting that the balloon did not pose a military or physical threat, the Chinese daily Global Times reported.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the decision was made at the direction of US President Joe Biden.

Citing unnamed experts, the Global Times said that the US reaction could escalate tensions between the two countries' militaries.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.