Lu Shaye, China’s ambassador to France, believes the U.S. should return debris from the spy balloon it shot down because the balloon belongs to China.
Lu was interviewed by French channel LCI on Monday. A transcript of the interview was posted by the Chinese Embassy on Wednesday, BNN Bloomberg reported.
“If you pick up something on the street, you should return it to the owner, if you know who the owner is,” Lu said, BNN Bloomberg reported. “If the Americans don’t want to return it, that’s their decision. This demonstrates their dishonesty.”
His remarks are the first time China has requested the U.S. return the balloon, the outlet reported. U.S. officials believe the balloon was used to conduct surveillance operations, a claim Beijing denies. Lu downplayed the Chinese balloon and accused the U.S. of using spy balloons.
He claimed “it is not uncommon to see American spy balloons, or balloons used for other purposes,” and Chinese officials “played it low-key, without hype,” according to the New York Post. Lu did not say if the alleged spy balloons were shot down and where they were detected.