Biden Admin: Spy Balloon Incident Didn’t Cause ‘Big Hit’ To Relations With China

(Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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According to both President Joe Biden and the State Department, the presence of a Chinese spy balloon over U.S. soil earlier this month did not have a “big” impact on relations with the Chinese Communist Party.

Biden himself flatly answered “no” to an interview question published Wednesday night, in which PBS anchor Judy Woodruff asked if relations between Washington and the CCP have taken a “big hit” recently. State Department Spokesman Ned Price echoed that sentiment later in the week, telling the Daily Caller during a press briefing he agrees with the president.

“Look, I made it real clear to Xi Jinping that we’re going to compete fully with China, but we’re not looking for conflict,” Biden said to Woodruff. “And and that’s been the case so far.”

Price implied that the reason relations didn’t take a “big hit” is that ties with the PRC are already in a fraught state. He explained that acts like flying a spy balloon over the length of the continental United States is what the administration has come to expect from Beijing.

“I do share that assessment, unsurprisingly, because, Dylan, we’ve been under no illusions about the challenges that the PRC presents,” Price said Thursday. “So of course we didn’t wake up recognizing anything about the PRC or the challenges we face from the PRC that we didn’t know prior to last week.”

Price added that while this incident may have been the first time many Americans became aware of the true extent of the challenges posed by China, that that is not the case for officials in Washington. (RELATED: First Balloons, Now Space Lasers: Chinese Satellite Blasts Green Lights Over Hawaii)

Chinese diplomats have adopted a harsh line toward Washington since Biden ordered the shooting of a Chinese spy balloon a week ago off the coast of the Carolinas. The CCP condemned the “indiscriminate” use of force when the balloon was shot down and said it reserved the right to take similar action if roles are reversed. Beijing also declined to take a call from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as the situation unfolded and condemned a House of Representatives resolution condemning the use of the balloon as “political manipulation.”