China demands return of spy balloon shot down over US

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The People’s Republic of China is demanding the return of the remains of the spy balloon that was shot down over the continental United States over the weekend.

The incident, which has drawn attention from U.S. politicians and dominated news cycles, has been met with criticism from the Chinese Communist Party, who claim the balloon was of a civilian nature and did not pose any threat to U.S. national security.

Fox News reported Tuesday that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning fielded questions Tuesday about the incident, declining to give any additional information regarding the purpose of the spy balloon, which was believed to be transferring surveillance data over to China as it flew over several military bases.

When asked if China had requested that the debris from the destroyed aircraft be returned, Mao said, “The airship does not belong to the U.S. It belongs to China.”

She went on to criticize the U.S. government for not acting in a “calm and professional manner,” referring to the Pentagon’s statement that it had “acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information” from the surveillance balloon.

The Pentagon said that three similar spy balloons from China had flown over the U.S. during the Trump administration — a claim disputed by former Defense Secretary Mark Esper and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

However, a senior administration official told Fox News that the existence of the Chinese spy balloons had not been discovered until the Biden administration took office.

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