China defense ministry: U.S. ‘attack’ of Chinese airship an ‘overreaction’

A jet flies by a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floats off the coast in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, U.S. February 4, 2023.
Randall Hill | Reuters

China’s defence ministry on Sunday protested against the U.S. “attack” of an unmanned Chinese airship in the United States, saying that it was an “obvious overreaction”.

China reserves the right to use the necessary means to deal with similar situations, said Tan Kefei, a ministry spokesman, in a statement, without elaborating.

A U.S. military fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, a week after it first entered U.S. airspace and triggered a dramatic – and public – spying saga that worsened Sino-U.S. relations.

China has said the craft was a weather balloon blown off course.

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