US shoots down Chinese (spy?) balloon: ‘What was it doing there?’

Bongani Bingwa speaks with international correspondent Adam Gilchrist.

• The United States has shot down what it suspects to be a Chinese spy balloon

• On 2 February, the US military spotted the balloon hovering over the north of the country

The US Department of Defence confirmed on Sunday that its fighter jets brought down the balloon.

The high-altitude balloon was spotted over Billings, Montana, on Wednesday and four days later footage on US TV networks showed the balloon falling to the sea after a small explosion.

US President Joe Biden had been under pressure to shoot it down since defence officials first announced they were tracking it on Thursday.

China insists that the inflatable is a weather balloon.

The country’s foreign ministry, in response to news of the balloon’s destruction, expressed “strong dissatisfaction and protest against the US’s use of force to attack civilian unmanned aircraft”.

The military is now recovering debris spread over 11 kilometres.

The US air force shut it down; now the US Navy is searching for the debris because it’s all about what that balloon was doing there.

Adam Gilchrist, International correspondent

The Americans suggest it was a Chinese spy balloon… the Chinese absolutely insist it was a weather balloon.

Adam Gilchrist, International correspondent

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Author: editor

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