US shooting down Chinese unmanned airship unacceptable: foreign ministry
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China firmly opposes the unacceptable and irresponsible action of the United States shooting down a Chinese airship which accidentally entered US airspace, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks at a routine press briefing in Beijing when asked what China would do to stabilize China-US relations after the cancellation of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit.

“History has proved it is the US that often tramples on international law and violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries,” Mao said. “As a responsible country, China has always strictly abided by international law and respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries.”

A Chinese airship’s entry into US airspace precipitated the cancellation of Blinken's visit.

“Affected by westerlies and with limited control ability, the airship, of civilian nature, seriously deviated from the scheduled course, which was completely an accident caused by force majeure, and the US Department of Defense itself has stated that the airship poses no military or physical threat to personnel on the ground,” Mao said.

The US overhyped the issue “and even carried out armed attacks, which was obviously an overreaction,” she said. “China firmly opposes the unacceptable and irresponsible actions of the United States.”

"I want to emphasize that to properly deal with this kind of accident, both sides, especially the US side, should be calm, professional and non-militarized," the spokesperson said.

“The US should work with China to properly manage differences and avoid damaging mutual trust due to misunderstanding and miscalculation,” the ministry spokesperson said.

(Compiled by Yu Dian)