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US downs Chinese balloon over ocean, moves to recover debris

CORRECTION US China Balloon
Posted at 11:55 AM, Feb 04, 2023

The United States on Saturday downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America and became the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.

An operation was underway in U.S. territorial waters to recover debris from the balloon, which had been flying at about 60,000 feet and estimated to be about the size of three school buses.

Before the downing, President Joe Biden had said earlier Saturday, “We’re going to take care of it,” when asked by reporters about the balloon. The Federal Aviation Administration and Coast Guard worked to clear the airspace and water below.

Television footage showed a small explosion, followed by the balloon descending toward the water.