The recent shooting of a Chinese surveillance balloon near the South Carolina coast has generated concern among the global community. China has voiced its objections to the United States, alleging that their response was an “excessive reaction” and asserting their right to respond in kind to U.S. aircraft flying over China. The Global Times, a pro-China newspaper, reported on the event and featured statements from Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesperson Senior Colonel Tan Kefei and Lü Xiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
What could be the retaliation for the U.S. shooting down the suspected spy balloon?@CBSNews national security correspondent, David Martin asks, “Are they going to start some serious harassment of these American reconnaissance planes that fly around the periphery of China?” pic.twitter.com/4FIhm4QCLC
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 5, 2023
Kefei stated that China “solemnly protest[s] this move by the US side and reserve[s] the right to take necessary measures to deal with similar situations.” Lü Xiang also commented on the incident, saying that the balloon may have been harmless but America proceeded to shoot it down for other reasons. He went on to say that the US must “carefully consider the consequences” if they do not make a difference in their approach to the situation.
The comments made by both Kefei and Lü have caused many to speculate that shooting the balloon down may cause relations between U.S. and China to significantly escalate. Professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, Lia Haidong, said that the incident has been “exploited to instigate fermenting anti-China sentiment” which will only make the US’ China policy more aggressive.
The Chinese government has made multiple comments about the balloon saying that America choosing to shoot the balloon down was equivalent to “shooting a mosquito with cannon” some have said. This statement has caused many to question whether or not China is trying to send a message to the US by implying that they may take similar action to “civilian unmanned airship(s)” that cross through their airspace.
It is clear that tensions between the US and China are rising as a result of this incident. The Chinese government has made it clear that they are not happy with the US’ actions and are willing to take reciprocal measures if necessary. It is uncertain what will come of this situation, but it is clear that it is something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Trending Politics