(DCWatchdog.com) – BREAKING NOW: The Chinese spy balloon drifting across the United States has sparked an international incident, and now President Joe Biden is responding.
The Biden administration has postponed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned trip to China next week following the discovery of the Chinese spy balloon in the western United States.
The State Department confirmed the postponement after the balloon was spotted over Montana late Thursday.
A senior State Department official stated that the postponement was due to the current environment, which would not be conducive or constructive for travel to Beijing. The official added that the visit would be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity when conditions allow.
Blinken was due to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, over the weekend in what would have been the first visit to Beijing by a US secretary of state since 2018.
China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement claiming that the balloon was a civilian airship used for meteorological research, which had deviated from its planned course due to winds.
However, the State Department referred to the balloon as a “surveillance asset” and considered its presence in US airspace a violation of US sovereignty and international law.
The Defense Department advised against shooting down the balloon due to the potential risk of civilian casualties on the ground.
Montana, where the balloon was located, is home to one of America’s three nuclear missile silo fields, raising concerns among lawmakers who are calling for strong action from the Biden administration.
Senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio have criticized the Biden administration for not shooting down the balloon and have called for answers regarding its detection over Alaskan airspace.
President Biden, however, ignored a reporter’s question about the balloon and only addressed questions about the economy.
The balloon incident highlights the growing tensions between the US and China and the need for the Biden administration to take a stronger stance on national security issues.
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