Other countries' silence on US' fiction-like narrative on balloon incident their silent disapproval of US' absurdity
Published: Feb 09, 2023 11:28 PM
Bloated hype beyond all reason. Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Bloated hype beyond all reason. Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

In the context in which US domestic politics has deteriorated, the country's handling of the balloon incident has evidently entered a state of political playacting driven by the country's domestic politics. Instead of respecting facts, the US' rhetoric over the matter sounds like weaving a plot for a novel or a Hollywood movie.

US media reported that the country's intelligence officials groundlessly believe that the recently recovered so-called Chinese spy balloon is part of an extensive surveillance program run by the Chinese military, having conducted at least two dozen missions over at least five continents in recent years. This program "has violated the sovereignty of countries across five continents," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed on Wednesday.

Both Democrats and Republicans are already preparing for the 2024 presidential elections, attempting to amplify every matter that can be used to gain political capital. 

According to Lü Xiang, an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, by exaggerating the global threat of a Chinese civilian airship used for research, on the one hand, the Biden administration intends to accuse and blame its Republican predecessor's failure to deal with the "China threat." And on the other, it is also a powerful counterattack to the Republican Party's recent attack on the Democrats' weak response toward China, especially at the beginning of the balloon incident.

Both parties seem to be competing over which one is more aggressive in terms of being hawkish on anti-China. Using the balloon incident as a pretext, the Biden administration is trying to show its domestic audience its efforts in solidifying and expanding a global anti-China front by spreading a fictitious narrative unfavorable to China, in a bid to gain more support at home. Such exaggeration is only part of the US public opinion war.

Balloons for meteorological purposes have been used by many countries, and it is not uncommon for them to occasionally drift into the airspace of another country. The US government has received over 350 new reports of what the US government terms "unidentified aerial phenomenon," commonly known as UFOs, since March of 2021 - roughly half of which are so far unexplained, according to media reports in January. Instead, Washington did not sensationalize these cases, to a sharp contrary to its response to China's airship this time. Some US politicians' practices in hyping the balloon incident for political ends are neither wise nor appropriate.

At the initial stage of detecting the airship, Pentagon said the so-called spy balloon "does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground," or a significant intelligence-gathering risk. Today, such a matter has been accused not only as a threat to the national security of the US, but of five continents. The reverse is utterly absurd.

Lu Shaye, the Chinese Ambassador to France, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview that "Such incident should have been managed through the communication between the two sides in a quiet way and without affecting the mutual trust, as similar matters happened often in the past and there's no need to exaggerate it." He also told French news channel LCI on Monday that balloons from other countries had previously strayed into Chinese airspace, citing media reports and discussions on social media, but said Beijing had preferred to deal with them in a "low-key" manner. 

China's approach in dealing with such incidents demonstrates to the world that China proceeds from the facts and handles such unexpected foreign affairs from the standpoint of world peace and development. This indicates that China is a firm force for world peace, while it is difficult for the US to have such a broad mind.

Washington has a load of overseas military bases and instigates conflicts and hostility among various forces globally at every turn, triggering turmoil in the world. The US is the most unstable factor in international security. It is ridiculous for such a country to use a civil balloon to play up the "China threat" to the world, and its attempt to confuse the public is unlikely to succeed.

The US' hype over the balloon incident has been around for a week. Except for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, few top leaders of some countries and international or regional organizations have publicly echoed the US. As NATO is merely a US military tool, Stoltenberg's remarks over this matter are of no value. Countries like Venezuela even condemned US practices - The US once again "resorts to the use of force" against a device that didn't represent any military or physical threat to people on the ground, according to a Venezuela Foreign Ministry statement.

In the face of the US' excessive and groundless hype on the threat of China's civilian airship to the world, other countries' holding their tongues is a sign of their silent disapproval and objection against US' actions, said Shen Yi, a professor at Fudan University.