US balloon claim ‘hysterical and absurd’: China top diplomat Wang Yi
19 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh
China called the US's claim that its balloons were used for surveillance "hysterical and ludicrous" on Saturday.
China called the US’s claim that its balloons were used for surveillance “hysterical and ludicrous” on Saturday. In a speech to world leaders at the Munich Security Conference, China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, accused the US of attempting to “smear” the Asian behemoth while enacting policies that contradicted its ideals, such as free trade. He claimed that Washington misidentified China as a serious geopolitical challenge and a threat to the US.
“This is a misguided perception of China and with this perception, the United States is using all of its means to smear and clamp down China, and is co-opting other countries to do the same,” he said.
He claimed that the administration of US President Joe Biden has a “misguided” view of Beijing.
“There are many balloons from many countries in the sky. Do you want to down each and every one of them?” said Wang.
He also urged the US “not to do such preposterous things simply to divert attention from its own domestic problems.”
Importantly, after hovering over the country for a week, the US fired down the enormous balloon, which China said was a civilian airship used for meteorological research. Beijing denies using spy balloons, claiming the equipment was used for weather research.
Following that, it accused the US of launching espionage balloons over its country, which the US denied. The incident prompted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to hastily postpone a rare visit to China. Nevertheless, according to GlobalSecurity.org, the Biden administration placed new sanctions on China, targeting many corporations for assisting Beijing’s military development efforts.
The US Commerce Department added five Chinese companies and one research institute linked to Beijing’s aerospace programmes, including airships and balloons, to an export blacklist on Friday.
According to the Commerce Department, the six entities backed “China’s military modernization efforts, particularly the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) aerospace programmes such as airships and balloons.”
Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology Co., China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute, and Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology Co. are among the six companies. Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co., Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology Co., and Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co. are the other three.