China claims balloon is ‘civilian airship’, whines America has ‘hyped it up to attack and smear’

Despite an alleged Chinese spy balloon flying into United States airspace and violating American sovereignty, the Chinese Communist Party seems to believe it’s the real victim.

In a statement issued Saturday, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry first claimed the alleged spy balloon is just a weather balloon that simply flew off course because of too much wind.

“Regarding the unintended entry of a Chinese unmanned airship into US airspace due to force majeure, the Chinese side has verified it and communicated it to the US side. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes. Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course,” they said.

“This is entirely an unexpected situation caused by force majeure and the facts are very clear. China always acts in strict accordance with international law and respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. We have no intention to violate and has never violated the territory or airspace of any sovereign country.”

The spokesperson then attacked those in the U.S. who have justifiably assumed that the balloon is a spy balloon.

“Some politicians and media in the US have hyped it up to attack and smear China. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to that,” they said.

Chinese newspapers have reportedly also jumped on this general bandwagon.

Over at China Daily, an English-language newspaper owned by the CCP, an op-ed was published that blamed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s last-minute decision Friday to cancel a trip to China on “some media outlets’ hyping up of the issue.”

“Although China has explained clearly and unambiguously the balloon spotted in the US is a civilian vessel designed for meteorological use and its entry to the US was unintended, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken still cited it as an excuse to postpone his planned visit to China,” the piece reads.

“It is the duty of both sides’ diplomatic teams to manage differences in bilateral ties and handle any unintended incidents. The fact the US’ decision is based on some media outlets’ hyping up of the issue makes one doubt its sincerity in putting bilateral relations back on a healthy track,” it continues.

Meanwhile, at the Global Times, a tabloid paper also owned by the CCP, a report was published accusing the United States of taking “provocative actions” against China.

What sort of actions, exactly? Actions like complaining about the veritable spy balloon hovering over their communities and neighborhoods.

“Recent signals sent from the US on China have been utterly chaotic, which may bring more uncertainty to already strained bilateral relations, Chinese analysts said on Friday,” the report reads.

“They urged the US to be more sincere in fixing relations with China instead of making provocative actions against it, especially after the picture of a white balloon made headlines in the US and some Western countries on Friday, as Pentagon officials claimed that a Chinese spy balloon hovering over Montana this week had a flight path that took it over ‘sensitive sites’ in the US,” it continues.

Evidently, it’s on the U.S. to “fix” relations between the two countries.

Some Republicans would like to “fix” the relationship by just shooting down the balloon or allowing Americans to shoot it down themselves:

In fairness to Democrats, they too have called out China, though they’ve stopped short of calling for the balloon to be shot down from the sky.

Speaking with Newsweek, Rep. Andy Kim said Friday that the balloon was “a reckless move by President Xi’s regime that further inflames relations while providing them with little actual intelligence value.”

“This is a clear violation of American sovereignty and reminds us that the threats posed to our country by our chief adversary on the world stage do not stop overseas,” Rep. Ritchie Torres, also a Democrat, added.

As for shooting down the balloon, at least one Democrat — Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi — has shot that idea itself down.

“U.S. officials and senior military leaders have thus far advised against shooting the balloon down due to concerns about falling debris and civilian safety. Congressman Krishnamoorthi has full confidence in the U.S. military to protect our safety and security interests, and is monitoring the situation closely,” his office said to Newsweek.

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