China rejects US proposal for defense chiefs' call due to Washington's 'irresponsible wrongdoings'
Published: Feb 09, 2023 11:57 PM

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

As the US continued to hype the balloon incident, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense on Thursday firmly announced the country's rejection of the US' proposal for a call between the two defense chiefs. 

Defense ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei said in a statement released on Thursday that the US insisted on using force to attack a Chinese civilian unmanned airship, which seriously violated international practice and set a bad precedent.

Since the US' irresponsible wrongdoings failed to create an atmosphere for communication between the militaries of the two countries, China does not accept the US' proposal for a defense chiefs' call, Tan said. 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has made public remarks with regard to the nature of the balloon incident. China reserves the right to further respond to the accident, the spokesperson said. 

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that it is reasonable and just to reject the US suggestion, as the country is not sincere in hoping for "communication" but instead showing a disguised form of "coercion."  

After the civilian unmanned airship was identified, the US disregarded China's repeated communications and reiteration of its benign nature, and sent an F-22 to shoot it down on Saturday as the airship was about to leave US airspace. 

While collecting the remnants of the airship, the US also held briefings with partners and allies to paint the balloon as evidence of a "China threat." 

The US has been a destroyer of China-US relations all along, trying to force China into talks by intentionally creating a crisis. Its approach to dealing with the balloon, which was a pure accident, demonstrated that Washington lacks diplomatic etiquette and a sense of respect and equality, Li said. 

The US first intentionally jeopardized bilateral dialogue opportunities and hypocritically raised proposals for talks. When China responded and reacted reasonably based on US words and deeds - rejecting US proposals - the US started to mislead the international community as if China was the one to be blamed for the bumps in bilateral relations, Li elaborated. 

"We have seen through the US' tricks and will not waste time on such talks when people on the other side are not being sincere in solving the problem," the expert noted. 

While proposing talks between defense chiefs, the US on Wednesday claimed the balloon was part of a fleet that spanned five continents.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at Thursday's press briefing that she is not aware of any "fleet of balloons". 

That narrative is probably part of the information and public opinion warfare that the US has waged on China. As for who is the world's number one country in spying, eavesdropping and surveillance, that is plainly visible to the international community, Mao said.