President Joe Biden has stated that he is not sorry for shooting down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the US coast.
He claimed that although the balloon was used for surveillance, it was unlikely that the other three objects shot down over North America were foreign spy planes.
According to him, the US would now improve its detection of comparable aerial objects.
Additionally, Mr. Biden stated that he would soon speak with President Xi Jinping of China about the incident this month.
Mr. Biden said at the White House on Thursday, "I hope we are going to get to the bottom of this, but I make no apologies for taking down that balloon.".
The balloon was not used for surveillance, according to China, which claimed it was collecting weather data when it veered off course.
But Mr. Biden reaffirmed the official US position that the balloon, which crossed the nation at a height of about 40,000 feet (12,192 meters) before being destroyed by a US fighter jet over the Atlantic, was in fact used for espionage.
He stated that the US and China were still in contact regarding the matter. We are not seeking a fresh Cold War, Mr. Biden declared.
In order to address the three unidentified objects that American fighter jets have been dispatched to shoot down over the past week, as well as the alleged Chinese surveillance balloon, Joe Biden has come under increasing pressure.
He did that on Thursday afternoon, but his brief appearance will do very little to quell critics or those who are requesting more details and explanations.
He didn't explain what those things were, and he didn't say anything more about the first Chinese balloon. He made no mention of when the Chinese balloon was first discovered, its intended use, or recent reports that it was initially headed for the US island of Guam before changing course. Additionally, he omitted to explain why no new objects have been targeted despite a recent spate of incidents.
It was a feeble attempt at explanation. Additionally, it will probably fail as a public relations effort.
For the time being, it may calm the waters, but the questions will resurface with a new sense of urgency the next time a balloon crosses the American sky or when fighters or missiles are launched.
The intelligence community believed they were "most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions," Mr. Biden said in reference to three additional objects that were subsequently shot down over Alaska, northwest Canada, and Michigan.
The three objects' discovery may be explained by improved radar that was put in place in response to the Chinese balloon, Mr. Biden suggested.
In order to distinguish between unidentified objects that are likely to present safety and security risks that call for action and those that do not, I've instructed my team to present me with more precise guidelines for how we will handle these objects moving forward. ".
Mr. Biden's remarks followed the White House's decision to refute claims that the three objects had extraterrestrial origins.
According to officials, the slowly moving unidentified objects were destroyed "to protect our security, our interests, and flight safety" and did not pose "any direct threat to people on the ground.".
Mr. Biden responded when asked if he would repeat the same course of action: "Make no mistake, if any object presents a threat to the safety and security of the American people, I will take it down. ".
China has reiterated its justification for shooting down the balloon on February 4, telling reporters that the US should try to avoid "misunderstandings and misjudgements".