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China Urges Biden Admn To 'change Course' & Repair Damage Caused By 'spy Balloon' Incident

Blinken also"directly spoke to unacceptable violation of US sovereignty and international law by [China's] high-altitude surveillance balloon," Price said.



China on Saturday called on the Biden administration to "repair the damage" caused by the hysteria surrounding the unmanned spy balloon. As he met with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, China's Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi, pushed for a reset of the bilateral relations between Beijing and Washington.  Blinken, meanwhile, asserted that Beijing’s surveillance program through the unmanned airship was, in fact, “exposed to the world.”

"Wang Yi expressed China's firm and fair stance on the so-called balloon incident and urged the United States to change course, and soberly assess and repair the damage caused to Chinese-US relations by the excessive use of force," the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement following the high-level talks between the two officials. US State Department spokesperson, Ned Price, stressed that Blinken, on behalf of the Biden administration clarified to his Chinese counterpart that such an "irresponsible [spy balloon]act must never again occur" and that the "violation of US sovereignty and international law by the Chinese balloon was unacceptable." 

'Irresponsible act must never again occur': Blinken to Wang Yi

Blinken "directly spoke to the unacceptable violation of US sovereignty and international law by [China's] high-altitude surveillance balloon in US territorial airspace, underscoring that this irresponsible act must never again occur", State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement published following the Munich Security Conference. "Secretary [Blinken] made clear the United States will not stand for any violation of our sovereignty," he furthermore stressed. Blinken also warned Wang Yi about the "implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia or assistance with systemic sanctions evasion", Price continued to add, referring to the ongoing hostilities between Ukraine and its neighbour Russia. Blinken was "very direct and candid," State Department's spokesperson emphasized. 

Tensions ratcheted between US-China last week after a suspected Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon was spotted hovering over the continental United States, US defense officials announced, adding that the balloon risked straining already tensed US-China bilateral ties. US national security officials warned the Biden administration about alleged Chinese espionage attempts and on official orders of President Joe Biden, the 200-foot-tall surveillance airship was shot down off the coast of South Carolina. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has declared that China balloon made an “attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.” The Chinese Foreign Minister had lambasted Washington for its “hysterical” behaviour and for smearing the Asian titan. At the Munich Conference, Wang Yi accused Biden’s administration for its “misguided” perception of Beijing. 

“To have dispatched an advanced fighter jet to shoot down a balloon with a missile, such behaviour is unbelievable, almost hysterical,” said Wang at the conference. “There are many balloons from many countries in the sky. Do you want to down each and every one of them?” he assertively questioned. 

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