What we’re covering
- The US military has shot down a Chinese high-altitude balloon after it drifted off the East Coast near the Carolinas, the Pentagon confirms.
- China has expressed its “strong dissatisfaction and protest” against the decision, accusing the US of “overreacting” and “seriously violating international practice.”
- President Joe Biden described the mission as a success. He said he ordered the military to shoot it down “as soon as possible” when he was briefed Wednesday.
- US officials say the balloon was being used for surveillance; China insists it was a civilian research vessel.
- It was first spotted over the continental US several days ago, according to the Pentagon, but officials deemed it too dangerous to shoot down over land.