US speculates on the nature of the Chinese mission

US speculates on the nature of the Chinese mission

The suspected Chinese spy balloon after it was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on February 4th
Image: Reuters

Even before the debris from the suspected spy balloon has been evaluated, there is speculation in Washington about the nature of the Chinese mission. There are also contradictions in the American debate.

EFor the first time since the alleged spy balloon was launched, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry had to answer questions from journalists at a regular press conference on Monday. It became clear just how much Beijing got lost in the balloon affair with his attempts at an explanation. Mao Ning was asked about the second balloon sighted over Latin America over the weekend. Because of the weather conditions and its limited manoeuvrability, it also went off course and “inadvertently” flew into the airspace of Latin American countries, Mao said. When asked how it could be that China lost control of two of its balloons, the spokeswoman had to agree. “I’m not an expert. I’m not comfortable answering that question,” she said, using a commonly used Chinese phrase.

Friederike Böge

Political correspondent for China, North Korea and Mongolia.

Majid Sattar

Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.

China has settled on the version that the flying object, which the United States calls a spy balloon, served purely scientific purposes and that it was never intended to enter American airspace. To save face, Beijing accuses the American government of overreacting by shooting down the flying object and “hyping up” the affair. “This is unacceptable and irresponsible,” Mao said.

Source link