China skeptical over Biden-Xi call to resolve spy balloon crisis

Beijing, Feb 17 (EFE).- China said on Friday that the United States had no right to seek communication and raise tensions at the same time, responding to US President Joe Biden’s comments, who said that he would speak with his counterpart Xi Jinping over the spy balloon that he had ordered to be shot down on Feb. 4.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that he did not have information about a possible conversation between the two leaders, but Washington could not seek communication while stoking confrontation on the other hand.

He said in a press conference that the US should work with China to jointly control dispute and resolve the “unexpected and isolated” incident – of the airship – to prevent misunderstanding.

Biden had said on Thursday that he hoped to talk to Xi over the “spy” balloon, but would not apologize for shooting it down.

The US president also insisted that he would not hesitate in shooting down any flying object that posed a threat to the US people.

The Chinese airship was detected inside American airspace in late January and shot down on the waters of the Atlantic on Feb. 4

The balloon had been flying over different parts of the country for days, including the state of Montana, a northwestern state that is home to one of three US nuclear missile complexes.

The Chinese government has insisted that the balloon was a meteorological device that drifted into US airspace when it was blown off course.

Besides the alleged spy balloon, the Pentagon has downed three other unidentified flying objects this month over the US and Canada. Authorities from those two countries are investigating their origin.

After years of bilateral tensions during the 2017-2021 administration of US President Donald Trump, Biden and Xi met for the first time as heads of state last year at the G20 summit in Bali in a bid to get ties back on track and prevent the rivalry between the world’s two biggest powers from descending into open conflict.

The discovery of the alleged spy balloon, however, has revived tensions and prompted the Biden administration to postpone Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned trip to China earlier this month. EFE


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