Multiple news outlets have reported that on Saturday the United States fired down an item it believes to be a Chinese surveillance balloon that had floated above the country for several days before heading out into the Atlantic.
The US military had been keeping an eye on the balloon all week, with President Joe Biden reportedly being briefed on it for the first time on Tuesday. The Pentagon warned against shooting down the balloon earlier in the week when it was above Montana due to fears about falling debris.
In a statement released on Friday, China said that the balloon had accidentally entered US airspace while conducting meteorological research. The US Department of State is “certain” the balloon is being used for surveillance, however, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s comments on the same day. Blinken decided not to visit Beijing over the weekend.
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