Headline RoundupFebruary 4th, 2023

US Shoots Down Chinese Spy Balloon

Summary from the 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.

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