China threatens “further actions” after U.S. shoots down suspected spy balloon
COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ)
China is now threatening to take "further actions" against the U.S. after an American fighter jet shot down the suspected spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.
Recovery efforts for parts of the balloon started quickly after it was shot down. The Pentagon announced they plan to continue recovering pieces from the balloon and will work with the F.B.I. to analyze what was found.
The threat comes as China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs insisted that the craft was civilian and its flight an accident and felt the U.S. overreacted and violated international practice.”
The White House says President Joe Biden approved the downing and followed the advice of military officials by waiting to bring down the craft over water rather than risk debris falling on populated areas.
The suspected spy balloon reportedly traveled several miles across the U.S. and over sensitive military sites in North America.
Missouri residents also reported seeing a white object that resembled the Chinese spy balloon. The ABC 17 News team spoke to Jon Bongard, a University of Missouri Ph.D. candidate for atmospheric science, about the suspected spy balloon.
Bongard said the size of the balloon and the ability to remotely control it was unlike anything he’s seen.
“They've probably tested this thing really extensively to make sure that it could handle that kind of weight,” Bongard added. “It would normally be a neat thing, but in this case, it's kind of terrifying.”
In the past eight years Bondard worked with the university, Bongard said they’ve never gotten their balloons back. The balloons are at the will of the wind until they burst and sometimes deploy parachutes, landing as far as Illinois.
U.S. officials have also expressed how they felt about the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon. Sen. Josh Hawley (R) Missouri stated in an email Friday to ABC 17 News that “This is a gross violation of American sovereignty. China’s foray into America’s sovereign airspace is deeply disturbing and calls for an immediate investigation," Hawley stated.
Sen. Eric Schmitt (R) Missouri also emailed ABC 17 News Saturday, calling for an investigation.
“China was clearly testing Biden on his response to this intrusion into American airspace and his decision-making in general, and he failed miserably for our adversaries to see. Last night I called for an investigation and I will continue to push for more information – the American people deserve answers,” Schmitt emailed stated.
Officials say the recovery operation is expected to wrap up within the next few days.