Blinken Tells Chinese Counterpart Balloon Incident “Must Never Happen Again” | USA

The head of US diplomacy declared this Saturday to his Chinese counterpart that the incident of the balloon shot down by US fighter jets “should never happen again”, during a rare meeting in Munich, indicated the spokesman for the Department of State.

Antony Blinken also warned the newly appointed head of Beijing’s diplomacy, Wang Yi, about the “implications and consequences” for China if it is confirmed that it provides “material support” to Russia in its war with Ukraine, according to the same source.

The meeting, which took place behind closed doors on the sidelines of the security conference taking place in Munich, in southern Germany, lasted for about an hour and the dialogue took place “in a frank and open way”, he revealed to the average a senior State Department official, on the cover of anonymity.

Blinken insisted to his counterpart that the case of the Chinese balloon, which flew over US territory for several days before being shot down, constituted “an irresponsible act that must never happen again”.

The balloon incident prompted Blinken to postpone a visit to Beijing scheduled for early February at the last minute and revived tensions between the two great rival powers.

“The Secretary of State has clearly indicated that the United States will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty and that China’s high-altitude surveillance program has been exposed to the eyes of the world,” continued the State Department spokesperson.

“Regarding Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine, the secretary warned against the implications and consequences for China if it provides material support to Russia or helps it to circumvent sanctions” imposed by the West.

Blinken was also keen to reiterate to Wang Yi that the United States is not seeking a “conflict” with China, nor a “new cold war”, and that Washington intends to keep lines of communication open with Beijing, despite their disagreements.

Previously, and in his speech at the conference, Wang reiterated Beijing’s criticism of the United States for shooting down the balloon and indicated that it was a flying object mainly used for meteorological research with limited capabilities and that it changed its route due to winds.

Wang also accused the United States of violating international legal norms by deciding to destroy the object with a missile fired from a US fighter jet.

“These actions do not demonstrate that the USA is big and strong, but they indicate exactly the opposite”, he said.

Wang, who holds the Chinese Communist Party’s highest foreign policy official, also accused the United States of blocking China’s economic advances and impeding its development.

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