The U.S. shot down a Chinese balloon as it flew off the southeastern coast of the country on Saturday, Reuters reported, citing eyewitnesses and officials.
U.S. President Joe Biden approved a military plan to shoot down the Chinese balloon as the government ordered a halt to flights around the South Carolina coast because of what it called a national security effort.
Earlier, Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a planned visit to Beijing because of the discovery of a Chinese balloon in U.S. airspace.
In a conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Blinken called the incident an irresponsible act. For its part, Beijing reacted to the cancellation of the U.S. secretary of state's visit by stressing that some politicians and media in the United States have hyped the case to attack and smear China.