Saturday, the United States shot down Chinese balloons over the Atlantic Ocean, prompting China's foreign ministry to express "strong discontent."
"China expresses serious displeasure and outrage over the United States' use of force to destroy civilian uncrewed aircraft. "The Chinese side has repeatedly informed the American side, following verification, that the airship is for civilian use and entered the United States due to force majeure – it was a complete accident," the Chinese side stated in a statement.
"China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of relevant companies while reserving the right to make a further necessary reaction."
Saturday, the United States fired down a suspected Chinese "spy" balloon that had been seen in US airspace off the coast of South Carolina.
An attempt to retrieve debris from the Atlantic Ocean is now ongoing.
According to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the decision was taken at the order of US President Biden.