Many GOP critics of the Biden administration were upset by the delayed response to a suspected Chinese spy balloon that drifted across the nation earlier this month.
Although the military finally received the order to shoot down the vessel after it floated away from South Carolina’s coast, prominent pundits and politicians posited that the balloon might have collected sensitive information during its coast-to-coast journey.
It's ridiculous we're debating whether China can send airships over the U.S.
The Chinese Communists laughed at America while Joe Biden let the Chinese spy balloon float across America. pic.twitter.com/aRlWziD9gW
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 10, 2023
From the Chinese Communist Party’s perspective, however, the White House acted too severely in bringing down the balloon at all. In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a harsh denunciation of the incident, calling on the U.S. to not only admit fault for shooting down the balloon but to forgo any further support for Taiwan in its quest for some semblance of freedom from China.
After holding an unofficial meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Foreign Affairs Commission Director Wang Yi determined that America was guilty of “an abuse of the use of force and violation of customary international practice and the International Civil Aviation Covenant” in its use of a missile to shoot down the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean.
Taking the accusatory tone even further, Wang said that it is the U.S., not China, that must curtail its espionage program. Without providing evidence, he claimed that America is the “number one country in terms of surveillance” and has violated international law by flying its own balloons over Chinese airspace on multiple occasions.
As for America’s position regarding Taiwan, the Biden administration has made it clear that it does not support independence efforts.
“The United States has a longstanding one China policy,” the State Department asserted, adding: “We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side; we do not support Taiwan independence.”
Nevertheless, Wang chastised the U.S. and demanded that it more forcefully defend its position of “not supporting Taiwan independence.”
In recent remarks, President Joe Biden defended the decision to shoot down the Chinese balloon as well as three subsequently targeted objects.
“Make no mistake, if any object presents a threat to the safety and security of the American people, I will take it down,” he said.
Biden said at the time that he planned to speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the development.
“We’re not looking for a new Cold War, but I make no apologies,” he added. “I make no apologies, and we will compete and we will responsibly manage that competition so that it doesn’t veer into conflict.”