Chinese balloon in the sky over the USA
A Chinese balloon was spotted over the northern part of the United States, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken canceled a visit to Beijing scheduled for February 5-6 because of this.
A new aggravation between the United States and China is associated with the appearance of a Chinese balloon in the airspace of the United States. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken postponed his February 5-6 visit to Beijing because of this. After the Americans shot down the balloon, the Chinese authorities warned the US that they “reserve the right to take all necessary countermeasures.” Some analysts believe that the incident could have far-reaching implications in the confrontation between China and the US.
What is the ball
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the balloon seen in the US belongs to China. However, the Chinese Foreign Ministry claims that this is a research balloon, used primarily for meteorological purposes. Under the influence of the wind, it said in a statement, he lost control and “greatly veered off course.”
However, on February 4, the Americans shot down the balloon anyway. The Pentagon monitored the facility for several days; US President Joe Biden gave the order to shoot him down on February 1, but the military did not do this, fearing destruction on the ground. As a result, the balloon was shot down when it was over American coastal waters; for this, F-22 fighters were raised into the air.
The meaning of his appearance
The balloon is a technology that is considered to be a thing of the past. It is unlikely that a reconnaissance balloon will be able to give new information to China, which previously received data from satellites.
Experts suggest that the appearance of a balloon in US airspace may be a kind of signal to the Chinese authorities, which they decided to send on the eve of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to China.
In particular, such an opinion was expressed by Benjamin Ho, an expert on China at the Singapore Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies. He stressed that China has many more effective means to spy on US infrastructure, so he admitted that the purpose of the balloon launch was to study the response of the US authorities.
“It is quite possible that discovery was the very purpose. China could use the balloon to demonstrate its technological capabilities to penetrate US airspace without the risk of major escalation,” suggested Arthur Holland Michael of the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Relations.
Other experts believe balloons should not be underestimated and can be an effective way to gather intelligence. The key advantages of balloons are their low cost, as well as controllability, which allows them to stay in one place and collect information about a certain area from a relatively close distance for an extended period of time.
Reaction in the US
The Pentagon said that this is not the first Chinese balloon over the territory of the United States – at least three flights were recorded during the presidency of Donald Trump, but then this happened only over the border areas. Trump administration officials, in turn, claim that the military did not report to them about this, and the former president himself said that such accusations are being made to deflect criticism from the Biden administration.
Republicans, writes CNN, criticized Biden for refusing to immediately shoot down the balloon. It is possible that now the US President will have to take a tougher public position on the incident. This, in turn, could provoke a negative reaction from Beijing and, as a result, make it difficult to normalize relations between China and the United States, which the authorities of both countries were counting on ahead of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to Beijing. Because of the balloon, Blinken’s visit had already been postponed indefinitely, but not completely cancelled.
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