Chinese spy balloon episode to have consequences on US-China ties: Report

8 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Chinese National

Chinese spy balloon incident will have a significant impact on bilateral ties between the US and China.

The Chinese spy balloon incident will have a significant impact on bilateral ties between the US and China. This is evident in the cancellation of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to China, according to The Hong Kong Post.

Blinken was originally scheduled to travel to China from February 5 to 6. The meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden that is scheduled to take place in Indonesia this November may even be in jeopardy if China does not make efforts to mend the relations, claims The Hong Kong Post. Due to its efforts to present a friendlier front to the world and its desire to play a larger role in the international community, China stands to lose more as a result of the balloon incident.

China announced that it would continue to liberalize and open up even more at the most recent World Economic Forum conference in Davos. The Chinese balloon, which the Chinese Communist Party claims is a communications setup and which the Americans have previously designated as a spy in the air at 60,000 feet, was just shot down by the US.

As the Washington Post wrote of the affair: “…in arguably one of the most dramatic incidents in years involving the United States and China, it was an unmanned balloon, bobbing along on a meandering stratospheric path across the US mainland, that set the proverbial cat among the pigeons.”

A week after the Americans initially noticed the Chinese balloon passing over an archipelago in Alaska, The Hong Kong Post reports that an F-22 Raptor jet fired a missile at the balloon, killing it. The balloon was as large as three buses. China put on a resolute face and called the balloon a communications helper, promising to respond to the Americans in a suitable manner.

The Chinese intelligence asset is certain to be it, according to the Americans. The debris fell into the water after it was shot down. The Hong Kong Post reports that the true identity of the balloon won’t be revealed until it is recovered.

Scientists claim that because balloons can loiter over locations and collect finer images and videos of the areas studied, they make better spies than low-orbit satellites. A Pentagon official claims that the Chinese balloon could stay in place longer over collection sites like the ICBM field in Montana that was recently flown over, but they are not stationary, and their ability to gather signals isn’t significantly different from other Chinese devices.

According to The New York Times, quoting the Pentagon, China has turned down Washington’s request for a phone conference between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Beijing counterpart Wei Fenghe. Soon after a US fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, the request was made.