US military fighter jets have finally shot down the Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina close to Myrtle Beach. President Joe Biden says the decision to shoot down the balloon came directly from him on Wednesday. Advisors from the Pentagon said they would carry out his directive in a safe place so the payload wouldn’t crash to the ground and possibly injure civilians.
Many critics have panned the President (and the military) for slow and improper decision-making. The US spotted the balloon as soon as it left China’s coastline. The balloon ascended to an altitude of 66,000 feet before approaching the Aleutian Islands in the far-western part of Alaska. This area is to the extreme north of Japan and the east coast of Russia.
This trajectory suggests that the balloon does not have the purpose of collecting weather data, nor did it get blown off track by the wind as the Chinese Communist Party suggests. There was an obvious intention to reach the United States and penetrate the interior for the purpose of gathering information.
China also sent the United States (and the entire world) a clear message. The CCP will test strong nations to see if they have the fortitude to respond to aggressive behavior with force or anything else. The United States may have failed that test.
Live updates: US shoots down Chinese spy balloon off East Coast
US military shoots down Chinese spy balloon over Atlantic Ocean | Fox News
US fighter jets shoot down Chinese spy balloon off East Coast | CNN Politics
Chinese Spy Balloon Shot Down Off Coast of the Carolinas: Live Updates – The New York Times
Biden says U.S. will “take care of” suspected Chinese spy balloon – CBS News