China warns of consequences if US escalates balloon incident

The suspected Chinese spy balloon drifts to the ocean after being shot down off the coast in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, US on Feb 4, 2023.
PHOTO: Reuters file

BEIJING — China warned the US on Sunday (Feb 19) it would "bear all the consequences" if it escalated the controversy over a Chinese balloon that the US military shot down this month.

Beijing will "follow through to the end" in the event "the US insists on taking advantage of the issue", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

A US military jet on Feb 4 shot down what Washington calls a Chinese spy balloon after it had crossed North America. Beijing says it was an errant weather-monitoring craft.

China's statement followed a meeting between top diplomat Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

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