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US-China tensions

China spy balloon shooting triggers diplomatic, social media storm

Critics accuse anti-China politicans of driving Biden's move to bring down craft

A suspected Chinese spy balloon was 'successfully brought down' on Saturday in U.S. airspace off the coast of South Carolina state, officials said.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Washington's shooting down of a suspected Chinese spy balloon has sparked a diplomatic and social media backlash against what some blasted as the work of "intoxicated" U.S. politicians who are hostile to Beijing.

The downing on Saturday was quickly followed by claims that the U.S. was "overreacting" to the balloon, which Beijing said was for scientific research and not espionage.

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