Inflatable Diplomacy: Harris Brushes Off China’s Balloon

( – The media reported about a suspicious balloon flying over Montana on February 1, drawing lots of speculation as to what it could be. On February 4, the US military shot the high-altitude balloon down off the coast of South Carolina. Intelligence sources later confirmed the vehicle as a Chinese spy device. In an exclusive interview with Telemundo News, President Joe Biden addressed the issue, saying, “it’s not a major breach,” and, in the general scheme of things, it’s normal. It seems his second-in-command agrees.

Vice President Kamala Harris recently participated in a phone-in interview with POLITICO contributor Eugene Daniels. He asked whether the US shooting down the spy balloon would affect relations with China. Her response was a short, succinct, “I don’t think so, no.”

Harris went on to say that the balloon, which reportedly had surveillance equipment onboard allowing the Chinese to collect communication signals, wouldn’t change the US approach to dealing with the Asian country. The president has stated America is seeking “competition, but not conflict or confrontation.” Following the balloon’s takedown using an air-to-air sidewinder missile, the US issued sanctions against companies linked to China’s aerospace program.

Yet, China doesn’t seem to feel the same way. It said the US overreacted when it shot the vessel down, maintaining the airship was a weather balloon that had blown off course. On Wednesday, February 15, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin revealed at a daily press briefing that China plans to take action against the US, but he didn’t discuss what that might entail.

Congress took its own action on Wednesday, as well. The Senate unanimously voted to pass a pair of resolutions condemning China for its “invasion” of US sovereign airspace. They also called on Biden to be “transparent with the American people and Congress” about China’s spy attempts. The House passed a similar resolution the prior week.

~Here’s to Your Prosperity!

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