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On the day of the balloon’s demise, China rejected a call from the Pentagon chief

On November 10, 2020, the Pentagon chief, General Mark Milley, called on China to exercise restraint in the South China Sea. Milley’s statement came in response to reports that China had authorized the deployment of missiles and fighter jets to the region. However, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, rejected Milley’s call, saying that China would continue to safeguard its sovereignty in the region. Zhao also accused the United States of “hyping up” the situation and “playing up the military card”.