China requires United States to return wreckage of downed balloon

China’s authorities will insist on the return of the wreckage of a balloon shot down over the United States. This was announced on Tuesday by the IOFICE representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Mao Nin.

“This balloon does not belong to the United States, it belongs to the PRC. The Chinese government will continue to decisively protect its legal rights and interests,” she said.

Mao Nin claims that the Chinese balloon was intended exclusively for civilian purposes and did not pose a threat to US national security.

On February 2, Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said that the authorities had spotted a reconnaissance balloon over the continental part of the United States. It was shot down on February 4 off the coast of South Carolina within the American airspace.