In response to criticism from a number of lawmakers, Vice President Joe Biden stated on Thursday that, despite the fact that a Chinese spy balloon had flown over the United States prior to being shot down in the Atlantic Ocean, he did not consider this to be a significant breach of national security.
Biden, who has sought to maintain communications with China and not allow tensions with Beijing to get out of control, stated in an interview with Noticias Telemundo that he did not regret shooting down the balloon sooner. Biden’s comments come after he has made efforts to maintain communications with China and not allow tensions with Beijing to get out of control.
“It’s not a major breach,” Biden said. “I mean, look, it’s totally … it’s a violation of international law. It’s our airspace. And once it comes into our space, we can do what we want with it.”
He stated that officials from the United States military were concerned that if they shot the balloon down over land, the balloon and its parts may fall into a populated area.
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“This thing was gigantic. What happened if it came down and hit a school in a rural area? What happened if it came down? So I told them as soon as they could shoot it down, shoot it down. They made a wise decision. They shot it down over the water, they’re recovering most of the parts, and they’re good,” he said.
On February 2, Vice President Joe Biden issued an order for the balloon to be shot down once it entered the northwest region of the United States. However, Biden complied with the request of the United States military to wait to take action until the balloon was over the sea.
On February 4, a fighter jet from the United States shot down a balloon measuring 200 feet tall (61 meters) along with its undercarriage, which contained electrical equipment. The incident occurred off the coast of South Carolina. The military of the United States has been working hard to retrieve as many components as they can.
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