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Monday, March 27, 2023

China’s balloon flight violates US sovereignty

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken commented on the postponement of his visit to China in connection with the appearance of a Chinese spy balloon in US skies, saying the current situation “is not conducive to a constructive visit”.

The statement by the head of the American diplomacy was made Friday during his joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Pak Chin.

Blinken said that earlier in the day he had a conversation with Wang Yi, head of the office of the CPC Central Committee’s Foreign Affairs Committee, during which the Secretary of State said he was postponing his meeting. visit to China in light of the “unacceptable gestures.”

“As you know, Mr. President [US] Biden and President [China] Xi [Jinping] at a meeting in Bali in November, it was agreed that I would go to Beijing to continue the dialogue. Departments of the United States government have worked to prepare discussions on issues important to the American people and people around the world. We have been in contact with our colleagues in Beijing to prepare for these meetings,” Blinken said.

“Yesterday the Department of Defense reported that we located and tracked a high-altitude reconnaissance balloon that is over the continental United States,” he continued. “We are watching this ball closely. We are sure it is a Chinese reconnaissance balloon. As soon as we discovered it, the US government immediately took steps to protect classified information. We have been in direct contact with the PRC government on this issue through various channels. Members of my team have consulted with our partners in other departments and in Congress. We have also contacted our close allies and partners to inform them of the presence of a reconnaissance balloon in our airspace. We have come to the conclusion that the current conditions are not conducive to a constructive visit.

According to Blinken, in a conversation with Wang Yi, he made it clear that the presence of this balloon in US airspace is a clear violation of US sovereignty and international law.

“It is an irresponsible decision, and the PRC’s decision to take it on the eve of my planned visit is detrimental to the substantive discussions we were prepared to have,” the secretary of state said.

Blinken said the United States remains committed to diplomatic engagement with China and plans to visit Beijing when conditions permit. In the meantime, the United States will keep communication channels open with China, including on this incident.

“Last important note. The world expects the United States and China to be responsible in their bilateral relations and, indeed, to solve many of the current global problems, problems that affect the lives of our people and people around the world, we have to find a way to work together. The United States will continue to act in a manner that reflects our responsibility. We hope that our Chinese colleagues will do the same,” he concluded.

Earlier, Beijing expressed regret over the incident, calling the reconnaissance facility a “civilian airship” that “flew” into US territory after “losing its course”. This assertion by Beijing sparked political outrage in the United States.

Spy balloons have flown over the United States several times in recent years, according to a US official, but the balloon appears to have lingered longer than in the past. It has been flying over the United States for several days now.

Earlier, a senior US Department of Defense official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the US had been “monitoring” the site since it entered US airspace and was monitoring it with security guards. military aircraft.

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