China urges calm after U.S. shoots down suspected spy balloon

BEIJING — China’s Ministry of International Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning urged each side to stay calm after the U.S. stated it shot down what it referred to as a Chinese language spy balloon.

“What I want to emphasize regarding this unexpected accident is that both sides, especially the U.S., should remain calm,” Mao stated in Mandarin, in keeping with a CNBC translation.

She was talking on the first of the ministry’s every day press conferences after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken indefinitely postponed his journey to Beijing following information {that a} suspected Chinese language surveillance balloon was flying over the USA.

Blinken was initially anticipated to go to Beijing Sunday and Monday, though the U.S. had supplied few official particulars and the Chinese language facet by no means confirmed the journey. The U.S. navy shot down the balloon over the weekend.

China has referred to as the balloon a “civilian unmanned airship” and stated it was primarily conducting climate analysis earlier than it was blown off track.

International Ministry spokesperson Mao emphasised the unintentional nature of the balloon’s flight path, and stated China has misplaced management of different such automobiles, in keeping with her question-and-answer session Monday with reporters.

When requested who or what sort of firm made the balloon, Mao declined to share any particulars.

Majority Chief Chuck Schumer “revealed that we do know that once the balloon was exposed to the public, China attempted to maneuver the balloon to leave the U.S. as soon as they could,” a Senate Democrats press launch stated Sunday.

When requested to verify this element, Mao stated China’s communication with the U.S. “always works hard to handle things responsibly.”

She stated once more that the occasion was unintentional, however places the U.S. to the check by way of the way it can deal with crises and stabilize U.S.-China relations. Mao reiterated China’s requires “mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation“ in the bilateral relationship.

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Plans for Blinken to visit Beijing were announced in November after Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden had their first in-person meeting during the Biden administration.

News of the meeting and expectations that Blinken would visit Beijing had increased hopes for more stability in the tense U.S.-China relationship.

Ahead of Blinken’s visit, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Ned Price told reporters Thursday that one goal of high-level conversations with Beijing was “accountable administration” of the world’s “most consequential” bilateral relationship. Such talks, he added, are meant to ensure that “competitors would not veer into battle.”

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