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Balloon burst on Biden’s antics, China’s intention

Balloon burst on Biden’s antics, China’s intention

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican lawmakers on Sunday accused China of deliberately surveilling sensitive US military sites with a suspected spy balloon and said the Biden administration shot the balloon down during its high-altitude drift through US airspace. By not giving an intelligence to Beijing.

The appearance of the balloon in the sky over the United States has further strained US-China relations before a military jet shot it down over the Atlantic Ocean with a missile on Saturday. America’s top diplomat abruptly canceled his trip to Beijing and China’s defense ministry said in a statement after the balloon splashed down in waters off the Carolina coast that it “reserves the right to take necessary measures to deal with similar situations”. “

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said among members, “Clearly this was an attempt by China to gather information, to defeat our sensitive missile defense and our command and control of nuclear weapons sites.” Congressional news show on Sunday. “And it is certainly an urgency that this administration does not recognize.”

US defense and military officials said the balloon entered the US air defense zone north of the Aleutian Islands on January 28 and moved largely over Alaska and then into Canadian airspace over the Northwest Territories on Monday. It returned to US territory in northern Idaho on Tuesday, the day the White House said President Joe Biden was first informed of it.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y, said the full Senate would receive a briefing on the balloon this month, including details of its surveillance capabilities, and that the administration would consider measures against the Chinese for “their brazen activities.” Thinking. He said the GOP’s criticism was political and immature and that the US had “sent a clear message to China that this is not acceptable.”

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Biden issued the order to shoot but wanted it to happen on Wednesday first. American officials said they had been advised that the best time for the operation would be when it was above water. Military officials determined that bringing the balloon down to the ground from an altitude of 60,000 feet would pose an undue risk to those on the ground.

“They (the Chinese) were trying to send a message about what they believe internally, and that is that the United States is a once great superpower that has become hollow, that it is in decline,” the Florida Republican said. said Sen. Marco Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “And the message they’re trying to send to the world is, ‘Look, these guys can’t do anything about a balloon flying in American airspace. If something happens in the Indo-Pacific, you can probably blame them. How can you trust?” Area?'”

The balloon was seen Wednesday over Montana, where Malmstrom Air Force Base is located, which houses areas of nuclear missile silos.

“They haven’t gone and seen the Grand Canyon,” Turner said. “He went and looked at our nuclear weapons sites and missile defense sites all over the country.”

Taking it down until it reaches the ocean “is like tackling the quarterback after the game is over,” Turner said, after the balloon “had accomplished its mission.”

But Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said he counted on the military, adding, “We must remember that this has happened many times now under the Trump administration. And so to create another standard for Biden When Trump, it seems, is a bit hypocritical to allow it to go into the United States.”

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China has denied any claims of espionage and said it was a civilian-use balloon for meteorological research. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs argued that the balloon’s journey was beyond the control of the Chinese government.

“It wasn’t an accident. It was intentional. It was intelligence, you know?” said retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.

Asked whether elements of the Chinese military wanted to disrupt the planned visit by Foreign Minister Antony Blinken, Mullen replied: “Clearly, I think that is the case.”

He said “it really hurts a relationship between us and China” and “puts a big dent in moving forward in a constructive way, which we really need to do.”

The message from Beijing to Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., who leads a new House committee on China, is “Look what we can do with you and get away with it. Your corporations, your careers Politicians, they’ll come crawling. Back.”

The flight ended at about 2:39 a.m. EST Saturday when an F-22 fighter jet fired a missile at the balloon, causing it to land about 6 nautical miles off the coast near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, defense officials said.

Debris landed in 47 feet of water, which was less than officials had expected, and it spread about 7 miles. Officials estimate that the recovery efforts will be completed in a short period of time, not weeks.

Defense officials who briefed reporters have said that the US was able to gather intelligence on the balloon flying over the country. He said the military concluded that the technology on the balloons did not give the Chinese critical intelligence beyond what it could already obtain from satellites, although the US took steps to limit what kind of information it could gather. Is.

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Turner and Booker were on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Rubio was on ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union”, Mullen was on ABC and Gallagher appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures”. .

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