China threatens “retaliation” for US sanctions and intensifies tension over the shooting down of the balloon

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The Beijing government has raised its tone, amid tensions over the Chinese balloon shot down in early February while flying over the territory of the United States. now promised “retaliatory measures” against US companiesin response to sanctions that Washington has imposed on Chinese institutions for alleged links to the incident.

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“The Chinese civilian plane that entered US airspace did so by mistake, but Washington overreacted, using the matter as an excuse to illegally sanction Chinese companies and institutions,” the ministry spokesman said Wednesday. of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin.

“China strongly opposes and will retaliate against those US entities that harm our sovereignty and security,” he said.

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The official was referring to sanctions announced Friday by the US Department of Commerce against six Chinese aerospace companies for their alleged support of an alleged Chinese military reconnaissance program.

“We also said that since May last year, at least 10 US balloons have flown over Chinese airspace, and this includes the Xinjiang region, Tibet and other places. China explained that its civilian aircraft have entered its aircraft by mistake. But they didn’t explain why their balloons entered our airspace without approval,” Wang said.

According to the spokesman, “the United States is spreading false information” about this episode: “China has dealt with the issue responsibly and serenely, but the United States has yet to explain itself”, he remarked.

The US Navy has recovered the remains of the Chinese balloon that was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 4.  Photo: REUTERS

The US Navy has recovered the remains of the Chinese balloon that was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 4. Photo: REUTERS

“They need to think a bit, stop attacking China and stop deceiving the Americans and the international community,” the spokesman said at his daily news conference.

Wong, however, He did not specify which companies would be fined or what the reprisals would consist of.


On February 4, the United States shot down a Chinese “spy” balloon off the coast of South Carolina, and in the last three days they shot down three other flying objects in its territory and in Canada, which they could not obtain confirmations for moment its origin.

the American government accused China of developing a military espionage program through balloons sent to 40 countries on five continents, for which the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has canceled a scheduled trip to Beijing.

For its part, the Chinese government has assured that the first object shot down was a weather balloon deflected from its trajectory and denounced that at least ten US balloons have flown over China in the last year, which the US denies.

After the crash, the U.S. military adjusted its radar to detect minor objects and discovered three more unidentified aircraft that were shot down.

Japan suspects

Meanwhile, Japan has announced it is investigating whether any other Chinese balloons have flown over its airspace. A new analysis of unidentified flying objects in recent years suggests “strongly” that they were Chinese spy balloons, according to the defense ministry in Tokyo.

“After further analysis of previously identified balloon-shaped flying objects in Japanese airspace, including those in November 2019, June 2020, and September 2021, we concluded that they were presumed to have been flown by unmanned reconnaissance balloons from China “, read a statement. by the Ministry of Defense of Japan said.

He added that he had “vehemently asked the Chinese government to confirm the facts” and “that such a situation should not happen again in the future”.

“Violations of airspace by unmanned reconnaissance balloons and other means are totally unacceptable,” he added.

Japanese media reported Wednesday that government officials are studying easing rules for shooting down objects that violate their airspace.

Currently, the weapons can only be used in the event of clear and imminent danger, the Kyodo news agency reported.

Source: EFE and AFP

Source: Clarin

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