U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indefinitely postponed his trip to China following the recently confirmed Chinese state-owned balloon flying in United States air space over Montana for potential spying purposes. While the trip was never announced to the public, Blinken was scheduled to travel to Beijing this weekend and meet with President Xi to discuss the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Many are angered by the move, as top Republican lawmakers believed that Blinken’s plans should have remained, however, the topic of discussion should have been shifted into why the Chinese government was flying a balloon over the United States.
Sen. Tom Cotton believed that while Blinken should have canceled his meeting with President Xi in Beijing, President Biden should have to answer as to how a Chinese balloon was able to make its way into out unsecured airspace.
“Secretary Blinken should cancel his trip to China… And President Biden must answer why he has not secured U.S. airspace.”
While the Chinese government is confirmed the balloon is theirs, they have not admitted to the aircraft being used for spying purposes.
Following today’s breaking news that the balloon is confirmed to be Chinese, when questioned, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson wouldn’t confirm that the balloon had spying capabilities, instead pointing to other uses for the balloon:
“The airship is from China. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes… Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”
China has stated they “regret” the incident, however, many questions about the balloon and its capabilities still have to be answered.