The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Sunday expressed its strong dissatisfaction and protest over the use of force by the U.S. side to attack the Chinese civilian unmanned airship.
A U.S. military fighter jet shot down the airship off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.
China has repeatedly informed the U.S. side, after verification, that the airship is civilian in nature and entered the U.S. airspace due to force majeure and it was completely an accident, the foreign ministry said in a statement, requesting that the U.S. side handle the situation in a calm, professional and restrained manner.
The ministry also noted that a U.S. Department of Defense spokesman had said the airship did not pose any military or personal threat to ground personnel.
Under the circumstances, the U.S. side’s insistence on using force is an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice, the ministry said, adding that China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the companies concerned while reserving the right to make further necessary responses.