The spokesman said Beijing will “follow to the end” if Washington continues to blame the country for an episode involving an alleged spy balloon
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Sunday (February 19, 2023) that the United States will face “all the consequences” if it insists on exploiting “the problem” of the Chinese balloon shot down on February 4.
“If the US insists on exploiting the issue, increasing the hype and escalating the situation, China will see it through to the end and the US will suffer all the consequences,” the spokesman said in a statement released on Sunday (February 19, 2019). Here is the full text (174 KB).
The Chinese government’s statement comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Chinese diplomat Wang Yi at the 59th Security Conference in Munich. It was the first meeting between officials from the two countries since the diplomatic crisis sparked earlier this month by the downing of a Chinese balloon allegedly being used to spy on the US.
After the meeting, Blinken told CBS News that China was considering providing “deadly support” to Russia in the war against Ukraine. “The concern we have now is based on information they have [chineses] consider providing deadly support [à Rússia]and we made it very clear that this would pose a serious problem for us and our relationship,” he said on Saturday (02/18).
Responding to Blinken’s statement, Wang Wenbin said that China’s partnership with Russia was founded on the principles of nonalignment, aversion to confrontation and noninterference in the domestic politics of developing countries, which is “in the sovereign right” of both.
“As a great country, the United States has every reason to work towards a political solution to the crisis. [na Ucrânia]instead of adding fuel to the fire and taking the opportunity to capitalize on it,” the spokesman said.
TENSION BETWEEN USA AND CHINA
On February 2, the US Department of Defense announced that it had spotted a “highaltitude Chinese surveillance balloon” over US territory. The equipment was located in the state of Montana near Malmstrom Air Force Base, where there are three fields of nuclear missile silos, a structure for storing and launching ballistic missiles.
“As soon as the balloon was spotted, the US government acted immediately to protect itself from the collection of classified information,” the Pentagon said in a statement. Here is the full text (22 KB, in English).
The following day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken decided to postpone the February 5 trip to China. He was due to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang to discuss the two countries’ relations and the increase in Covid19 cases in China.
On February 4, the United States claimed to have shot down the balloon off the coast of South Carolina after it flew over sensitive military terrain. The balloon represented a heightening of tensions between Americans and Chinese, who exchanged accusations about the episode.
China claims the object was a device “used for research purposes, mainly meteorological” that deviated from its course due to wind currents. On Saturday (February 18), Wang Yi said the US reaction to the balloon had been “hysterical”.
“There are so many balloons around the world and several countries have them, so the United States is going to shoot them all down?” he explained during the Munich Security Conference.