China Accuses Biden Of ‘Abuse Of Force’ In Balloon Incident In Stark Message To Blinken

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) didn’t pull any punches Feb. 18 when Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Chinese counterpart, Director of the CCP Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi, at the Munich Security Conference.

Blinken and Yi met to discuss the violation of U.S. airspace by a Chinese spy balloon, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and peace in the Taiwan Strait, according to a readout of the discussion from State Department Spokesman Ned Price. The CCP version of events directly contradicted statements made by the Biden administration, asserting the balloon incident negatively impacted relations between the two countries.

“What the US side has done was apparently an abuse of the use of force and violation of customary international practice,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said Feb. 19 about the engagement. “China deplores it and strongly protests it. It is the US who is in fact the number one country in terms of surveillance, whose high-altitude balloons illegally flew over China multiple times.”

“What the US needs to do is demonstrate sincerity, and acknowledge and resolve the damage its abuse of force has done to China-US relations.”

President Joe Biden said Feb. 8 the balloon incident did not cause a “big hit” to China-U.S. relations, a sentiment later echoed by the State Department, and Washington has denied it was flying any spy balloons over Chinese airspace. The U.S. accused the CCP of operating an elaborate spy balloon program that surveilled at least 40 countries on five continents, although the Biden administration has offered few details on that alleged program or how it was discovered.

The CCP also claimed Wang only met with Blinken due to a request from the U.S. Regarding Blinken’s warning to China not to supply lethal assistance to Russia for its war in Ukraine, the CCP Foreign Ministry said it does “not accept the US’s finger-pointing or even coercion targeting China-Russia relations.” (RELATED: Dem Rep Handed Out Congressional Awards To Members Of Alleged Chinese Influence Operations)

Blinken on Sunday said China may be considering offering “lethal support” to Russia. It remains unclear when the secretary will reschedule his postponed visit to Beijing, which was cancelled due to the spy balloon discovery.