A missile fired by an F-22 fighter killed the Chinese balloon, which was floating above the Atlantic Ocean.
The United States United claimed on Monday to have recovered the first debris of the Chinese balloon while the administration of Joe Biden tried to contain the fallout from this episode both in the face of Republican opposition and vis-à-vis of Beijing.
The question is not whether we trust China, the question is to decide where we can work together and where we are in opposition, assured the American president, questioned by journalists on his return at the White House.
Joe Biden also recalled having made the decision to shoot down the alleged Chinese spy balloon last Wednesday but that the American military had advised him to wait until the craft was above the object. Atlantic, in US territorial waters.
Washington did not directly respond to accusations by the Chinese government on Sunday that the United States, by shooting down this balloon that Beijing presents as a civilian machine that deviated from its trajectory, have seriously affected and damaged the relations between these two countries.
While defending its position of firmness, the United States even reiterated its desire to keep the lines of communication open with its great strategic rival. Even in these times of heightened tensions, we want the ability to use the phone and chat with the Chinese, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday. He assured that the United States had had contact with the Chinese authorities since the downing of the balloon while specifying that no discussion had taken place on the rescheduling of the visit of the Secretary of State. x27;Antony Blinken State in China.
The balloon spotted by the Americans was notably observed in the sky of Billings, in the Montana.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan for his part repeated Monday during a debate in Washington that the United States was not seeking a new Cold War with China.
The United States is in contact with its allies and partners to keep them informed of the information gathered around the alleged Chinese spy balloon, whose crossing of American territory captivated the country for several days.
Faced with Republican opposition quick to denounce the Biden administration's weakness vis-à-vis China, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby assured that the decision to wait before shooting down the balloon had given the Americans a tremendous opportunity to better understand and study the craft while waiting for the wreckage to yield further information. He also assured that the United States had taken measures to limit the [data] collection capabilities that this balloon would have had over our sensitive military sites.
Teams deployed off the coast of South Carolina, in the southeast of the country, recovered some debris from the surface of the sea, said John Kirby, adding that the weather conditions had not allowed until x27;here to conduct underwater operations to recover this aircraft.
The official further indicated that the United States did not intend to return the collected debris to China.
General Glen VanHerck, chief of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), said a US Navy ship was marking out the radius in which the debris fell. The balloon itself was about 60 meters high and carried a kind of basket that weighed more than a ton, the official said at a separate press conference. The debris will be carefully investigated, the general added.
Another twist: According to Mr. Kirby, the Biden administration has reached out to senior officials from the previous administration and [provided] them with briefings about Chinese balloon overflights that took place while Donald Trump was president.
According to the Pentagon, Chinese balloons did indeed fly over at three times, for brief periods, the territory of the United States during the presidency of Donald Trump as well as once, also for short periods, at the beginning of Joe Biden's mandate.