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