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US gravely damaged relations by shooting balloon down: China

US gravely damaged relations by shooting balloon down: China

Beijing: After the US shooting down a Chinese balloon, which was claimed to have blown off course, Beijing reacted that the relations between the two powers got seriously impacted and damaged, Agence France-Presse reported.

The US Air Force had shot down the said balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, suspecting it was a Chinese spy probe. It had called the craft's invasion an unacceptable violation by China of American sovereignty.

AFP reports that the balloon had spent many days flying above North America, and it has led the US to cancel Secretary of State Antony Blinken's scheduled visit to Beijing.

However, maintaining that the balloon was a civilian aircraft blown off course, China lodged a complaint at the US embassy in the country on Sunday.

Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement that the US's actions have seriously impacted relations between the countries and efforts in stabilizing the relations since the Bali meeting. Leaders of the powers, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, had met in Bali last November.

AFP quoted the statement Beijing "is paying close attention to the development of the situation" and "reserves the right to make further necessary reactions".

On Friday, Pentagon described the aircraft as a high-altitude surveillance balloon and added that Washington had taken necessary actions to contain it before its collecting of sensitive information.

After the development of the US shooting down the balloon, Colombia came up saying that its defence had spotted an object that had similar characteristics to a balloon on Friday. Its defence monitored the object until it left the country's airspace, Colombian Air Force said.

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TAGS:China US balloon 
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