Can Chinese spy balloons impact China-US relations?
The Chinese spy balloon incident led to a political row between the Chinese and the United States (US) authorities. However, the US Vice President Kamala Harris told Politico that the incident does not impact U.S.-China relations.
She said that the White House would avoid “conflict” and instead focus on “competition.” Her comments came a week after the U.S. military shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon in Alaska, a U.S. state in the northwest of North America.
However, the Chinese authorities threatened “countermeasures against relevant U.S. entities” over the incident. On the other hand, US President Joe Biden said that he made no apologies for shooting down the Chinese spy balloon floating over sensitive installations in the US. He also said that he would speak with Chinese President Xi about the incident and hoped to get to the bottom of the affair.
The US said that the balloon was used by the Chinese authorities for spying on other countries. However, the Chinese authorities said that the balloon was used for collecting weather data. China denied that the balloon was used for spying on other countries. China also said that US balloons had overflown Chinese territory.
China’s Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, Wang Yi, and US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, met on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. The meeting did not help to improve the relations between the two countries following the spy balloon incident.
Last week, the US added six Chinese entities linked to China’s suspected surveillance balloon program to an export blacklist, alleging that they were supporting “China’s military modernisation efforts.” Matthew Axelrod, the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, slammed China over the incident.
Many experts claimed that the latest episode deteriorated the relationship between the two countries. Can the incident impact the relations between the US and China?