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Anglo-American Media Goad China To Retaliate after ‘Balloon Affair’

Feb. 7, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Western media pounded Chinese Foreign Ministry press spokeswoman Mao Ning on Monday about the balloon affair, with idiotic questions such as the Wall Street Journal’s “To your knowledge, are there any other balloons in the world that currently the government or China has lost control of?,” and Bloomberg’s “Why is China having so much trouble controlling weather balloons?”

Two questions sounded hopeful that China might respond to the war hawks in kind. Britain’s warhawk Sky News asked: “The eyes of the world are now on China, as you know, following the shooting down of that balloon. Does China recognize how dangerous this moment could be? And with that in mind, should it avoid tit-for-tat escalations, especially if the debris gathered shows that the balloon was spying?”

The New York Times wanted to know: “Is China taking the position that it reserves the right to shoot down unmanned aircraft that fly across its borders without permission, or is China taking the position that it is wrong to shoot down unmanned aircraft that fly across borders without permission?”

Mao Ning did not take that bait. She stressed that the U.S. use of force

“on a strayed unmanned civilian airship ... violates customary international practice,” and that the U.S. had gone ahead with the use of force despite China’s “repeated communication with the U.S..... This is a clear overreaction. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to that. The U.S. side needs to stop pushing the envelope and stop escalating or exacerbating the situation. The Chinese side will respond as necessary in light of the development of the situation.”

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Feb. 5, following the shooting down of the balloon, which was reportedly delivered personally to the U.S. Embassy the following day by Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng. That démarche reads:

“China strongly disapproves of and protests against the U.S. attack on a civilian unmanned airship by force. The Chinese side has, after verification, repeatedly informed the U.S. side of the civilian nature of the airship and conveyed that its entry into the U.S. due to force majeure was totally unexpected. The Chinese side has clearly asked the U.S. side to properly handle the matter in a calm, professional and restrained manner. The spokesperson of the U.S. Department of Defense also noted that the balloon does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Under such circumstances, the U.S. use of force is a clear overreaction and a serious violation of international practice.

“China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the company concerned, and reserves the right to make further responses if necessary.”

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