‘Kidnapped by domestic politics and serving anti-China policy’: Chinese FM questions credibility of US ‘balloon incident’ probe
Published: Feb 24, 2023 11:04 PM
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry Photo: cnsphoto

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry Photo: cnsphoto

The Chinese Foreign Ministry questioned the credibility of a US probe into the "balloon incident," as the upcoming "investigation report" is likely to have already been prepared, and the US position on the incident is hijacked by its domestic politics to serve its strategy of containing China.

"All collection and analysis of the debris of the downed airship has so far been done by the US by itself behind closed doors… Like many others, China cannot but seriously question the independence, openness and transparency of the so-called investigation. What gives such an investigation credibility anyway?" Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during Friday's press briefing.

Wang said the US position on the airship was preconceived. The way it handles the incident has been entirely taken hostage by domestic politics and designed to serve the strategy to contain and take down China. The fact that President Biden ordered the Pentagon to take down the balloon as early as February 1 makes people wonder whether the conclusions of the so-called investigation have already been pre-drawn as well, he said.

"The conclusions will most likely not go beyond the disinformation and unfounded allegations coming from the US over and over for the past few weeks. What value can such an investigation possibly have apart from serving the purpose of smearing and attacking China?" Wang asked.

We have made it clear time and again that the unmanned Chinese civilian airship which drifted over the US was a purely unexpected and isolated event caused by force majeure. Without any evidence, the US wrongly called the airship a "spy balloon" and responded with abuse of force. That was a flagrant violation of the Chicago Convention and multiple basic principles of international law, according to Wang.

The Chinese side has explicitly asked the US side through the consular protection channel to keep China informed of the progress. But the US has so far given no response, Wang said.

China's top diplomat Wang Yi held an informal meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on February 18 local time on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), where the Chinese official urged the US to correct its mistakes, as its handling of the recent airship incident has damaged China-US relations.

Wang also noted that the underlying reason behind this incident is that the US has engaged in misunderstanding and strategic misjudgments when it comes to China.

The airship itself is a civilian craft used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes. Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on February 3 after the Chinese unmanned airship was spotted in US airspace.

China expressed strong dissatisfaction and opposition toward the US' use of force to attack China's civilian unmanned airship.

Global Times