Taiwan: Chinese balloon incident should not be ‘tolerated’ by international community

This photo provided by Jason Sellers shows U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft shooting down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. President Joe Biden said on Saturday that he ordered U.S. officials to shoot down the suspected Chinese spy balloon earlier this week and that national security leaders decided the best time for the operation was when it got over water. (Jason Sellers via AP)

Taiwan said that the suspected Chinese spy balloon that was flying over the U.S. “should not be tolerated by the civilized international community,” adding that Beijing should stop conduct that causes regional instability.

“Such actions by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government contravene international law, breach the airspace of other countries, and violate their sovereignty,” Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday. “The CCP regime should immediately cease conduct of this kind that encroaches on other countries and causes regional instability.”

The U.S. shot down the balloon off the East Coast of the country on Saturday. China responded negatively to the action, calling it an overreaction by the U.S. government.

Even as Beijing has maintained that the balloon was used for civilian research, U.S. defense officials have said they are confident it was used for espionage. Taiwan, the self-ruled island, has experience with China floating balloons over its territory. It has also experienced Chinese military jets entering its airspace quite frequently, raising tensions between Taipei and Beijing. 

The revelation of the Chinese balloon floating over U.S. territory was met with calls from Republican lawmakers for the Biden administration to act quickly to shoot it down. After it was allowed to travel for a number of days across the country, lawmakers pointed the finger at President Biden and his administration for not dealing with the issue strongly enough.

Biden approved the downing of the balloon, holding off on the operation until it was safely over waters. Recovery efforts for the balloon have started.

Tags Biden China Chinese balloon Taiwan

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