Chinese spy balloon row: Joe Biden asserts not looking for new Cold War, says ‘I make no apologies’

Alleged spy balloon emerges as a latest flashpoint
Image source: AP Alleged spy balloon emerges as latest flashpoint between US and China

US President Joe Biden on Thursday underlined the need for an open line of communication with Beijing. His statement came in the wake of the latest spat with China over alleged ‘spy balloons’.

High-flying objects not related to Chinese balloon program: Biden

US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that three high-flying objects that were shot down in US and Canadian airspace this month were not related to the Chinese balloon program, but most likely from private companies, entertainment or research institutions. Was attached

Seek competition, not conflict: Biden

“I have said, since the beginning of my administration, we seek competition, not conflict, with China. We are not looking for a new Cold War. But I do not want any apologies and we will compete. Will manage that competition so that it doesn’t fall into conflict.

“This episode underscores the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between our diplomats and our military professionals,” Biden said at the White House for the first time since a Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down in US airspace.

“Our diplomats will engage further and I will be in touch with (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping).

I am grateful for the work of our intelligence, diplomatic and military professionals over the past several weeks, who have once again proven to be among the most capable in the world. I want to thank all of you,” he said.

Biden said he ordered the Chinese surveillance balloon shot down as soon as it was safe to do so.
“The military recommended razing it down to the ground because of its sheer size. It was the size of several school buses, and if people had lived on, it would have posed a risk to people on the ground.”

“Instead, we tracked it closely, we analyzed its capabilities, and we learned more about how it works.
Because we knew the path to it, we were able to protect sensitive sites from collection. We waited until it was safely above water, which would not only protect civilians, but also enable us to recover enough components for further analysis. Then we shot it down, sending a clear message.”

Violation of American sovereignty unacceptable: Biden

“The violation of American sovereignty is unacceptable,” he said.

Last Friday, the US imposed sanctions on six firms that directly support the People’s Liberation Army aerospace programme, including airships and balloons, denying them access to US technology. The US briefed its diplomatic partners and allies around the world about the Chinese program and where their balloons have flown.

“Some of them have raised their concerns directly with China. Our experts have lifted components of the Chinese balloon’s payload from the ocean floor. We are analyzing them as I speak. What we learn is will strengthen our capabilities. Now, we will also continue to engage with China, as we have done over the past two weeks.”

“Since the beginning of my administration, we seek competition, not conflict, with China. We are not looking for a new Cold War. In conflict. This episode has kept open lines of communication between our diplomats and our military professionals. Underlines the importance of keeping up,” Biden said.

The Chinese government accepted that the balloon belonged to China.

On February 6, China acknowledged that a giant balloon seen over Latin America belonged to it, days after the US military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon flying over the continental US.

The Colombian Air Force and Costa Rica’s civil aviation authority both confirmed that a white observation balloon seen over the US was tracked over their airspace last week, although they did not attribute the vessel to China. It is the first time Beijing has acknowledged that the balloon seen over the two Latin American countries is from China.

“Regarding the balloon over Latin America, it has been verified that the unmanned aerial vehicle is from China, is of civilian nature and used for flight test,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning told reporters here. ” Two suspected spy balloons.

China has denied the spying allegations and said it was monitoring the weather.

“Affected by weather and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course and entered the airspace of Latin America and the Caribbean,” Mao said. He said, “China is a responsible country and always acts strictly according to international law. We have informed relevant parties. It is being handled properly and will not pose any threat to any country. expressed understanding.”

US shoots down Chinese surveillance balloon, China threatens consequences

On February 5, the US military shot down a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean and launched a mission to recover all equipment from its wreckage, prompting a strong reaction from China, which on Sunday criticized the US for its unmanned civilian aircraft. Warned of consequences for use of force against. Airship. On instructions from President Joe Biden, the US military shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon in the Atlantic Ocean about six miles (9.65 kilometers) off US shores in South Carolina at 2.39 pm EST on Friday, with no loss of life. and the property of Americans, a senior defense official told reporters in Washington.

Fighter aircraft from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia fired a single missile at the balloon, causing it to crash into the ocean within US territorial airspace, the official said. , civilian aircraft or marine vessels were harmed in any way.

Chinese ‘spy balloon’ the size of ‘three buses’

On 3 February, the Pentagon alleged that a Chinese “spy balloon” the size of “three buses” had been seen in United States airspace. This comes days ahead of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s scheduled visit to Beijing. Speaking to the media, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said the US has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is currently flying over the country’s continental shelf.

ALSO READ: Chinese ‘spy balloon’ the size of ‘three buses’ found over US airspace: Pentagon

(with inputs from agencies)

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