U.S. shoots down balloon, Beijing warns of response

U.S. shoots down balloon, Beijing warns of response

Why in news:

  • The United States early on Sunday shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon that had floated over American airspace for several days, triggering the latest diplomatic crisis amid already worsening relations between the world’s two biggest powers.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called off a visit to China that was set to begin on Monday after this incident.

Response of China:

  • Beijing reacted angrily to the shooting down of what the U.S. called a “surveillance balloon”.
  • Chinese authorities maintained that it was a civilian airship used for meteorological purposes that had drifted off course.
  • The Chinese military said that it now “reserve[s] the right” to take the same measures if a similar situation arose.
  • The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that “the U.S. use of force is a clear overreaction and a serious violation of international practice”.

Syllabus: Prelims + Mains; GS2 – International Affairs; Security