US Shoots Down Chinese Spy Balloon
Summary from AllSides News Team
The United States military has downed what it believes to be a Chinese surveillance aircraft over American airspace.
The Details: The balloon was shot down roughly 7 miles off the coast of South Carolina, and U.S. forces are moving to recover the debris. President Biden said Saturday that he'd authorized the Pentagon on Wednesday to shoot the aircraft down "as soon as possible." Biden says it was the Pentagon’s decision to wait until the aircraft was over the ocean to avoid risks of doing damage on the ground, which could have included civilians or their property.
For Context: The takedown comes amid growing pressures to neutralize the balloon. The Chinese Foreign Ministry maintains the claim that it was a civilian weather research “airship” that drifted off-course. The balloon originally entered American airspace on Saturday, Jan. 28, and has been widely covered by media outlets across the spectrum since Thursday, Feb. 2. The Federal Aviation Authority temporarily closed airspaces in parts of North Carolina and South Carolina on Saturday afternoon “to support the Department of Defense in a national security effort.”
How The Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum have reported the events similarly. However, some pundits, particularly those on the right, say the balloon should have been shot down sooner. Associated Press (Lean Left Bias) highlights that reactions on the uncensored Chinese internet have mocked the U.S. for its delayed response.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftUS downs Chinese balloon, a flashpoint in US-China tensions
The U.S. military on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast on orders from President Joe Biden after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America, the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Biden wanted the balloon downed on Wednesday but was advised that the best time for the operation would be when it was over water, U.S. officials said. Military officials determined that bringing it down over land from an altitude of 60,000 feet would pose an undue risk to people on...
From the CenterU.S. military shoots down suspected Chinese surveillance balloon
The U.S. military on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that had been transiting across the country for several days.
In a statement Saturday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said a U.S. fighter aircraft assigned to U.S. Northern Command successfully brought down the balloon at the direction of President Joe Biden. Lloyd said the balloon was being used by the People’s Republic of China “in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.”
Biden gave authorization on Wednesday to take down the balloon as soon...
From the RightBiden says he authorized Pentagon days ago to shoot down Chinese spy balloon
President Joe Biden said shortly after the U.S. military shot down a Chinese spy balloon that he gave the order to shoot it down on Wednesday but that military officials waited until Saturday to do so.
"I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible," Biden told reporters on Saturday. "They decided without doing any damage to people on the ground they decided that the best time to do that was when it got over water outside within a 12 mile limit."
"They successfully took it...