Demonstrators outside the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sunday commended the U.S. government's decision to down the Chinese balloon off the coast of South Carolina.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile, a group that claims China's Xinjiang region is illegally occupied, initially organized the event in memory of the Ghulja massacre – a 1997 crackdown on Uyghur protesters that resulted in hundreds of deaths and arrests.
But ETGE Foreign Minister Sulayman Aziz took time out of the massacre's 26th anniversary to express support for the Pentagon's eventual move to neutralize the Chinese balloon, which had flown eastward over the U.S. late last week.
"We would like to commend the United States for shooting down the Chinese spy balloon and demonstrating that it will not violate China's violation of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and international law," Sulayman stated, according to Breitbart.
"China's violations of international law, sovereignty, and territorial integrity must never be allowed to go unpunished by the United States and other nations," he added.
His comments arrive in the wake of controversy surrounding President Joe Biden and his administration's stalled decision to shoot the balloon, citing concerns Friday over its flying height and the potentiality of hitting a civilian.
The delay came despite immediate calls from anonymous U.S. officials and public members of Congress to strike the Chinese aircraft after it was discovered hovering close to nuclear missile silos in Montana.
China condemned Biden's eventual move Saturday as an "obvious overreaction," alleging the balloon was an off-course "civilian airship" primarily used to track weather. However, U.S. intelligence has maintained its purpose was for surveillance.
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