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Beijing refused to take the defense secretary’s call after the Ballon has been shot down

Posted by on 2023/02/08. Filed under Breaking News,Headline News,International. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Beijing: China has rejected a telephone call between US Secretary of Defense William Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on the day a Chinese “high-altitude reconnaissance balloon” was destroyed over the United States, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

But Defense Department spokesman Brigadier General David Ryder says the U.S. commitment to keeping the lines open remains unchanged. The spokesman’s comments suggested that the Chinese were furious after learning of the shooting down of the balloon.

A U.S. F-22 fighter jet used a Sidewinder missile Saturday to destroy a Chinese balloon the size of three buses over the South Carolina Sea. China said it was a civilian weather balloon that had “strayed” into the US under “force majeure”, but the US determined it was a Chinese “spy balloon” that had flown over Montana, home to a sensitive US nuclear missile base, to gather intelligence.

Brigadier General Ryder said on Tuesday that on Saturday, February 4, after the destruction of the Chinese balloon, the US Department of Defense advised that US Secretary of Defense Austin had a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe.

“Military exchanges between the two countries are especially important at these times,” the spokesman said. “Unfortunately, the Chinese Communist Party rejected our request.”

The Chinese government said on Monday that the US had “overreacted” by destroying a Chinese “civilian balloon” and “severely damaged bilateral relations”.

International media noted that after initially expressing “regret” over the presence of high-altitude surveillance balloons over the US, China’s official stance intensified over the weekend, accusing the US of “overreacting” and violating international practices. The Chinese military has also threatened unspecified necessary measures in similar circumstances.

By contrast, on Monday, after the US informed it of another Chinese balloon flying over Latin America, the Chinese authorities finally officially acknowledged it and the Chinese embassy in SAN Jose, Costa Rica, issued a formal “apology”.

But China’s stance toward the United States on Friday used only the word “regret,” and has since hardened. It is also a mystery why China did not inform the US of its balloon’s entry into US airspace to find a solution, but waited until the US officially revealed that it was a Chinese balloon before being forced to confirm it, and continued to insist that the balloon, which first entered the US, then Canada, then the US and flew over sensitive Montana, was an “accident”.

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