The Chinese government is demanding the return of its surveillance aircraft after it was shot down in U.S. territory on Saturday. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning took questions at a press conference on Tuesday, where she requested that the airship should be returned to China, saying, “The airship does not belong to the U.S. It belongs to China.” Asked for additional information regarding the purpose of the spy balloon, Mao replied, “The Chinese side has given information about the unmanned airship on several occasions. I don’t have anything to add at the moment.”
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Moa also repeated the claims that the airship was civilian in nature, was being used for weather reporting, and that the U.S. did not respond in a “calm and professional manner.”
“The unmanned Chinese airship is of civilian nature. Its unintended entry into U.S. airspace is entirely unexpected and caused by force majeure. It didn’t pose any threat to any person or to the national security of the U.S. The U.S. should have properly handled such incidents in a calm and professional manner not involving the use of force, yet they decided to do otherwise, which is a clear overreaction,” she said.
According to Fox:
The Pentagon said Saturday that three similar spy balloons from China flew over the U.S. during the Trump administration – a claim disputed by former Defense Secretary Mark Esper and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
A senior administration official told Fox News that the existence of the Chinese spy balloons over U.S. territory during the Trump administration was not discovered until the Biden administration took over.