China's foreign ministry has announced that Vice Minister Xie Feng has lodged a solemn complaint with the US embassy in Beijing about the shooting down of a Chinese balloon by US forces.

According to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vice Minister Xie Feng made a solemn complaint to the US Embassy in Beijing on the 5th about the shooting down of a balloon that was flying over the US mainland.

In it, Xie said, "The fact that a Chinese civilian unmanned airship strayed into American airspace was completely force majeure and an unexpected and accidental incident. The facts are very clear, distorted and slandered. I won't let you do that," he stressed.

He also criticized the actions of the US side for causing serious impact and damage to the efforts and process of stabilizing bilateral relations since the US-China summit in Indonesia last November.

"We lodge a strong protest and urge the United States not to harm China's interests any further and not to escalate the tense situation."

"The Chinese government will resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies," he said, reiterating his intention to take countermeasures if necessary.