China says it wants its busted balloon back after the US Navy fished the suspected spy craft out of the ocean
China now wants its busted balloon returned to it after the US shot it down.
US Navy divers fished pieces of the massive balloon out of the Atlantic Ocean this weekend.
"The airship does not belong to the US," a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
China now wants its busted suspected spy balloon returned after the United States military shot down the device over the coast of South Carolina and fished pieces of it out of the Atlantic Ocean.
When a reporter asked on Tuesday whether China has called on the US to give back the debris of the downed balloon, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, "The airship does not belong to the US. It belongs to China."
Additionally, a top Chinese diplomat also said that the US should give back the remnants of the balloon because it's not US property.
"If you pick up something on the street, you should return it to the owner, if you know who the owner is," China's ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, said during an interview on Monday with French news channel LCI, according to Bloomberg News.
Shaye added, "If the Americans don't want to return it, that's their decision. This demonstrates their dishonesty."
The high-altitude balloon was spotted flying last week over the continental US, and the US ultimately decided to shoot down the device, which defense officials have said may have been used to surveil sensitive military sites.
Chinese officials have admitted the balloon belongs to China but said it was a weather balloon that blew off course.
A US Air Force F-22 fighter fired a single air-to-air missile to shoot down the balloon on Saturday.
Newly released images from the US Navy show divers pulling debris from the massive balloon out of the Atlantic Ocean.
China has called the decision by the US to shoot down the balloon an "overreaction."
"The unmanned Chinese airship is of civilian nature. Its unintended entry into US airspace is entirely unexpected and caused by force majeure," Ning said Tuesday.
Ning continued, "It didn't pose any threat to any person or to the national security of the US. The US should have properly handled such incidents in a calm and professional manner not involving the use of force, yet they decided to do otherwise, which is a clear overreaction."
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