Ottawa, 6 February 2023 (TDI): Defense Minister of Canada, Anita Anand issued a statement on definitive action to bring down the Chinese surveillance balloon.

The Defense Minister said Canada “unequivocally supports” the United States’ decision to shoot down a high-altitude Chinese surveillance balloon. The suspected surveillance balloon had violated the airspace of the US, Canada, and International law.

Fighter jets downed the balloon off the Carolina coast on Saturday afternoon after it had traveled over sensitive military sites across North America.

The Defense Minister of Canada issued a statement after she was briefed about the operation by the National Security and Intelligence advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

She said, “Officials in the national security community have been working bi-nationally and Canada has been closely engaged with its US counterparts on the decision to bring down the surveillance balloon.”

In addition, she also thanked the US for its close collaboration with Canada. The bi-national North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking and analyzing the trajectory and actions of the high-altitude surveillance balloon.

She also thanked the members of NORAD for ensuring the security and defense of North American air sovereignty.

United States’ response

United States’ President Joe Biden ordered on Saturday the US military officials to shoot down the balloon. The suspected surveillance balloon that flew over sensitive military sites across North America has impacted the US-China relationship.

It is also to be noted that the relations between the West and China were dwindling over Taiwan and South China sea. The Pentagon Officials announced that US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken postponed his trip to China this weekend.

The Pentagon officials have also confirmed, one of the places the balloon was spotted was over the state of Montana, which is home to one of America’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

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On the other side, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has declined the suspected surveillance balloon and said the balloon was a civilian airship that was used mainly for meteorological research that “deviated far from its planned course” because of winds.