Zhang Ming, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), said on February 15 that the United States violated the spirit of international law and international practice when it shot down an unmanned Chinese airship.
Zhang made the remarks when answering a query concerning the unmanned civilian airship, which the U.S. Department of Defense shot down with missiles.
Zhang said the Chinese government has explained several times that it was a civilian unmanned airship used for meteorological and other research purposes. Affected by climate factors, the airship deviated far from its planned course, a situation caused by force majeure.
The U.S. Department of Defense said the airship would not pose a military or personal threat to ground personnel, yet the U.S. side insisted on using force to shoot down the airship -- a clear overreaction that violated the spirit of international law and international practice, Zhang said.
He said the SCO has always maintained that all countries should abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, refrain from the use of force and the threat of using force, and resolve international disputes through peaceful means such as negotiation and consultation.