Wang denounces ‘absurd and hysterical’ US shooting of balloon

Munich, Germany, Feb 18 (EFE).- Beijing has denounced the shooting down of an alleged Chinese spy balloon by the US, calling the response “absurd and hysterical”.

Speaking on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi insisted the balloon was unmanned and civilian and had “veered off course” into US airspace.

Wang said Beijing had asked Washington “to handle it calmly and professionally”.

The US used fighter jets to shoot the balloon down over the Atlantic on February 4 after it had flown eastwards over the country for several days.

“This is I would say absurd and hysterical,” China’s top diplomat said, saying that the response “does not show America is strong. On the contrary, it shows the opposite.”

“We urge the United States not to do such preposterous things simply to divert attention from its domestic problems,” he added.

During his speech, Wang also discussed the war in Ukraine, urging Europe to “think calmly” about what “efforts should be made to stop the warfare and what framework should there be to bring lasting peace” to the continent.

Wang said that while China was not directly involved in the “crisis”, it has not “sat idly by”, consistently advocating dialogue and diplomacy since the outbreak of the war a year ago.

While Beijing does not support Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, it has stopped short of publicly criticizing the Kremlin and has maintained an ambiguous stance, both calling for Ukraine’s “territorial integrity” to be respected and saying Russia’s security concerns are “legitimate”.

Wang acknowledged that securing peace would not be achieved with “simple solutions,” but urged all parties not to “abandon efforts to seek peace.” EFE


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