China blasts US over response to Chinese balloon incursion

On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said it will take measures against US entities somehow related to the downing of the balloon, without giving details
Last Updated : 16 February 2023, 15:28 IST
Last Updated : 16 February 2023, 15:28 IST

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China's ceremonial parliament has accused American lawmakers of trampling on the sovereignty of other nations after the US passed a measure condemning a suspected Chinese spy balloon's intrusion into US airspace.

The statement issued on Thursday by the National People's Congress's Foreign Affairs Committee repeated Beijing's insistence that the balloon was an unmanned civilian weather research airship, a claim the US has dismissed citing its flight route and payload of surveillance equipment.

While China at first expressed regret over the February 4 incident, it has toughened its rhetoric in a further sign of how badly relations between the sides have deteriorated in recent years.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said it will take measures against US entities somehow related to the downing of the balloon, without giving details.

Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/international/world-news-politics/china-says-us-balloons-flew-over-xinjiang-tibet-warns-of-countermeasures-1191547.html

The resolution earlier passed unanimously by the US House of Representatives “deliberately exaggerated the China threat,'" the Foreign Relations Committee statement said.

That was “purely malicious hype and political manipulation," it said.

“Some US Congress politicians fanned the flames, fully exposing their sinister designs to oppose China and contain China."

“In fact, it is the United States that wantonly interferes in other countries' internal affairs, violates their sovereignty, and conducts surveillance on other countries," it said.

A range of Chinese government departments have issued daily protests over how the US handled the issue, accusing Washington of overreacting and violating “the spirit of international law."

Beijing has offered no details on what company or government department was responsible for the giant balloon, the remnants of which are being sent to an FBI lab for analysis.

Along with Congress's passing of the resolution, the US has sanctioned six Chinese entities it said are linked to Beijing's aerospace programs. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also cancelled a visit to Beijing, putting an abrupt freeze on what some had seen as momentum for a stabilisation in relations that have plunged to their lowest in decades amid disputes over trade, human rights, Taiwan and China's claim to the South China Sea.

The House resolution condemned China for a “brazen violation” of US sovereignty and efforts to “deceive the international community through false claims about its intelligence collection campaigns."

US officials have said China operates a fleet of such balloons, which are a relatively inexpensive and difficult-to-detect method of gathering intelligence.

The US government determined the balloon posed little risk to national security and allowed it to fly across the continent before bringing it down with a missile off the coast of South Carolina.

Published 16 February 2023, 15:28 IST

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