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Relations with China ‘strained’ as US studies balloon

STORY: The world on Tuesday took a closer look at the Chinese spy balloon shot down by a US fighter jet off the coast of South Carolina last weekend. Footage released by the US Navy showed naval officers recovering the deflated remains of the balloon, which officials said was 200 feet long with a payload underneath that weighed several thousand pounds. Earlier on Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry said the balloon “belongs to China” and is “not American”. Drew Thompson, an analyst and visiting researcher at the National University of Singapore, said it’s more serious than that. “This is a very significant incident. It was the grossest violation of sovereignty by China of any other country that I know of in decades. This was not just a subtle miscalculation or an accident, as the Chinese Foreign Ministry claims. This was the deployment of an aircraft in the sovereign airspace of another country, without permission. If the same incident happened in China, they would be apoplectic about it. “The incident has strained the already shaky relations between the two countries.” Tense. tense, and said President Joe Biden was considering next steps. “I know the administration is looking at other measures that can be taken. The balloon has widened a rift here at home as well, with Republican lawmakers criticizing the response from the Democratic president on the situation, including House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.”If you actually issued an order for a s to shoot down a spy plane and it didn’t happen until Saturday, did you fire every single person who refused to follow the Commander in Chief’s order? Those are the things that happened under Joe Biden.” Pentagon officials said the risks were too great to shoot it down overland. Schumer, a New York Democrat, called the Republicans’ criticism highly political. “Even before seeing and knowing what was happening, Republicans—some, not all—began taunting the president. That criticism was premature at best and, by all accounts, highly political.” Meanwhile, Biden has tried to play down any drastic effect the balloon incident had on U.S.-China relations, saying on Monday that relations have not weakened.

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