Today, the United States shot down a Chinese meteorological balloon, which entered its airspace by mistake, after the winds diverted it from its planned path.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement: "A fighter jet shot down the Chinese airship that was flying at high altitude over the coast of South Carolina."
And US President Joe Biden portrayed the downing of the balloon as a major achievement, as he (congratulated) the pilots of his forces on what he called (success in shooting down the balloon).
A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed yesterday that the airship is civilian and used for research, mainly for meteorological purposes.
The spokesman criticized the American politicians and the media in the United States for exaggerating the matter and exploiting that in order to attack China and tarnish its image, stressing that his country always works strictly in accordance with international law and respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.