U.S. reportedly downs Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast : NPR

Chinese and US officials are giving conflicting reasons as to why the Chinese hot air balloon, pictured, is hovering over US airspace.

Larry Mayer/AP

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Larry Mayer/AP

Chinese and US officials are giving conflicting reasons as to why the Chinese hot air balloon, pictured, is hovering over US airspace.

Larry Mayer/AP

The US military shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of Carolina on Saturday afternoon and an operation is underway to recover debris from the Atlantic Ocean. Associated Press report.

The reported downing occurred shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration said it had “paused departures and arrivals from” three East Coast airports” to assist the Department of Defense in its efforts to ensure national security. family.”

President Biden promised to “handle” the Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States in recent days.

The airports affected by the ground stop are those in Wilmington, NC, Myrtle Beach, SC and Charleston, SC

China’s hot air balloon – which the Pentagon says, despite Beijing’s denial, is for surveillance purposes – was last seen in that area. This has sparked speculation that the military may soon act to lower the balloon into the Atlantic Ocean.

US and Chinese officials have offered conflicting information about the balloon’s purpose.

The Chinese government said the balloon was used strictly for meteorological research and accidentally entered US airspace.

But the Pentagon says the balloons are being used for surveillance. Its presence prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken next Friday Postponing the historic trip to BeijingEQUAL Tensions continue to rise between the two countries over national security.

US officials earlier this week decided not to shoot down the balloon after the Biden administration said it did not pose a national security threat. The Pentagon shared reports on Friday of a second hot air balloon, belonging to China, can be seen floating over Latin America.

On Saturday afternoon, the president commented on the balloon, saying, “We’ll take care of it.”

Hot air balloons quickly became internet celebrities as meteorologists, hurricane hunters, and others. see share on social media as it continued on its way on Friday.

Others criticized the Biden administration for not taking faster action to stop it.

“The Chinese hot air balloon flying over the United States is a direct attack on our national sovereignty,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. tweeted on Friday. “Biden’s refusal to stop it is irresponsible. From releasing balloons to opening our borders, Biden doesn’t care about our national security and sovereignty.”

On Saturday, people still shared the sighting of the hot air balloon on social media.

In South Carolina, the York County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that the balloon could be up to 60,000 feet in the air and urged people not to tackle the problem on their own.

“Don’t try to shoot it!!” The office tweeted. “Your rifle ammo WILL NOT reach it. Be responsible. What goes up goes down, including your ammo.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.


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