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US Use of Military Power Against China's Civil Balloon Excessive: Chinese Defense Ministry

© AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis / U.S. military fighter jet. (File)
U.S. military fighter jet. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.02.2023
BEIJING (Sputnik) - The use of military power by the United States against a Chinese civil unmanned balloon is an excessive reaction and Beijing reserves the right to take further necessary action, the Chinese Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
"The US used military force to attack our civilian balloon, which is clearly an overreaction," the ministry said in a statement on WeChat.
On Thursday, the Pentagon announced the detection of an alleged surveillance balloon from China over the US state of Montana. Beijing stressed that the balloon was a civilian airship engaged in scientific research, mainly meteorological studies, and expressed regret over its unintended entry into US airspace.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Saturday that a US fighter aircraft successfully brought down the balloon that had been used by China in efforts to "surveil strategic sites" in the US.
A Chinese high-altitude balloon was shot down off the coast of North Carolina on February 4, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.02.2023
US Shoots Down Alleged Chinese Spy Balloon
A Pentagon spokesperson told journalists on Saturday that US experts had studied the balloon equipment and Washington had no doubt that it was used for surveillance.
On Friday, the US State Department announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would not leave for Beijing later in the day as initially planned due to the balloon incident.
Why the Hysteria Surrounding this Chinese Balloon? - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.02.2023
The Backstory
Why the Hysteria Surrounding This Chinese Balloon?
The Pentagon specified on Friday that it detected another Chinese surveillance balloon - this one transiting Latin America - a day after the US identified the first one over Montana.
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