Chinese officials have criticized the US decision to shoot down what they say is a weather balloon that entered US airspace. According to Beijing, the balloon veered off its expected course and accidentally entered US territory.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng filed a complaint at the US embassy in China on Sunday (5) and claimed that the Americans made an “indiscriminate use of force”. Xie also highlighted that the decision shakes relations between the two countries after Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden met in person for the first time in Bali, Indonesia, in November 2022.
“A spokesman for the US Ministry of Defense said the balloon did not pose a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Despite this, the US obviously overreacted in insisting on the use of force and seriously violated international practice,” it said. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in a note published in the Global Times.
According to the Associated Press, the balloon was shot down by an F-22 fighter on Saturday (4) and Biden said that “I would like to commend our aviators who did it”.
The incident prompted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a planned trip to China due to take place on Sunday. The Financial Times reported that Blinken might even meet Xi, which would mark the first meeting of a US Secretary of State with a Chinese president in six years.
The episode was used by Republican congressmen to criticize Biden. “Allowing a Communist Party of China spy balloon to travel across the entire continental United States before contesting its presence is a disastrous projection of White House weakness,” said Roger Wicker, a Mississippi senator and member of the Armed Services Committee. of the Senate.
According to a Gallup poll, 79% of the US population has an unfavorable view of China. In addition, 49% of Americans believe that China is their country’s “biggest enemy”, against 32% who put Russia in that place and 6%, North Korea.
Editing: Arturo Hartmann
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