“Strong Dissatisfaction And Protest” From China After U.S. Downs Suspected Spy Balloon

“Strong Dissatisfaction And Protest” From China After U.S. Downs Suspected Spy Balloon

While the United States relaxed after the Department of Defense downed the suspected Chinese spy balloon Saturday afternoon off the Carolina coast, it was met with ire from China.

President Joe Biden said after the balloon had been shot down: “They successfully took it down, and I want to compliment our aviators who did it.”

Saturday evening, China’s foreign ministry released a statement expressing “strong dissatisfaction and protest against the US’s use of force to attack civilian unmanned aircraft.” China has maintained that the balloon was for “civilian use” and that it was “completely an accident.”

“China clearly asked the US to handle it properly in a calm, professional and restrained manner,” the statement continued. “A spokesman for the US Department of Defense also stated that the balloon will not pose a military or personal threat to ground personnel.” 

The statement also included a threat: “China will resolutely uphold the relevant company’s legitimate rights and interests, and at the same time reserving the right to take further actions in response.” 

A senior US. defense official said on Saturday after the balloon had been downed, “While we took all necessary steps to protect against the PRC surveillance balloon’s collection of sensitive information, the surveillance balloon’s overflight of U.S. territory was of intelligence value to us…we were able to study and scrutinize the balloon and its equipment, which has been valuable.”

“The balloon never posed a military or physical threat to the American people,” the official continued. “However, its intrusion of our airspace for multiple days was an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.”

Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said on Friday that the balloon did not seem to pose “military or physical threat” yet that the U.S. would “continue to monitor and review options”; Secretary of State Antony Blinken had also said on Friday that officials were “confident” it is a surveillance balloon.

The senior defense official also supported Blinken’s stance on Saturday, adding that the U.S. “spoke directly with Chinese officials through multiple channels, but rather than address their intrusion into our airspace, the PRC put out an explanation that lacked any credibility.” 

The official also said that Chinese surveillance balloons flying over the United States were not new. One flew over the country at the beginning of the Biden administration, while three “PRC surveillance balloons” flew over the country during the Donald Trump administration; however, by all appearances, he did nothing.

Trump defended himself on Truth Social on Sunday, saying the three balloons described by the senior defense official was “JUST FAKE DISINFORMATION!” 

Trump further explained, “The Chinese Balloon situation is a disgrace, just like the Afghanistan horror show, and everything else surrounding the grossly incompetent Biden Administration. They are only good at cheating in elections, and disinformation — and now they are putting out that a Balloon was put up by China during the Trump Administration, in order to take the ‘heat’ off the slow moving Biden fools. China had too much respect for “TRUMP” for this to have happened, and it NEVER did.”

Despite the official’s statement, the GOP are still tearing into Biden for his delayed response:

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton told Fox News on Sunday morning that the administration was “paralyzed for an entire week” and called the incident an “embarrassment.” He added, “What began as a spy balloon has become a trial balloon testing President Biden’s strength and resolve, and unfortunately, the president failed that test.”

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