“Such a statement by the United States is extremely irresponsible and contrary. To basic diplomatic etiquette,” China’s foreign ministry said.
BEIJING: Beijing on Thursday condemned. US President Joe Biden’s comments that Xi Jinping faced. “huge problems”, saying the comment was “extremely irresponsible”.
The latest rhetorical salvo between the US. and China comes after last week’s downing of a Chinese balloon. that Washington said was part of a spy fleet spanning five continents.
After a brief warm-up following November’s G20 meeting between Biden and Xi. US-China relations are on the nose again, with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Last week canceling a trip to Beijing over the balloon fracas.
The US has alleged that the high-altitude device. Which passed directly over at least one sensitive US military site. Was intended for espionage.
China has angrily denied the claims, arguing. That it was a weather observation craft that must have blown up.
On Wednesday, Washington said the balloon was part of a “fleet”, adding. They had been seen around the world for several years. And urging allies to increase vigilance.
In an interview with PBS NewsHour the same day, Biden defended the decision to shoot it down and insisted. That the United States was not seeking conflict with China.
He also said that President Xi has “huge problems”, including “an economy that is not doing very well”.
“Can you think of any other world leader who would trade places with Xi Jinping? I can’t think of one,” Mr. Biden said.
“Such a statement by the United States is highly irresponsible. And goes against basic diplomatic etiquette.” Ms Mao said, adding that Beijing “firmly opposes it”.
It has doubled down on its position. That the balloon was shot down for civilian purposes last week, claiming. It was part of a fleet representing “information warfare” against China.
“China’s repeated explanations and the US’s neglect of communication, overreaction. And abuse of force are irresponsible,” Ms Mao said.
“The international community is seeing very clearly what the world’s biggest spying, surveillance. And surveillance country is.”
But amid concerns over Chinese espionage in the skies. Japan said on Thursday it was coordinating. With Washington as it analyzed unidentified. Aerial objects over the country in past years.
A mysterious balloon-like object was spotted in northern. Japan in June 2020, with locals posting photos on social media.
Which appeared to consist of a balloon attached to a stick crossed. With a propeller in images obtained from residents and the media.
On a visit to Washington this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. said the device showed the need for countries. across the alliance to protect themselves.
“The Chinese balloon over the US confirms a pattern of Chinese behavior where we see. China invest heavily in new military capabilities over the years,” Mr Stoltenberg said.
“We’ve also seen Chinese intelligence activities in Europe. They use satellites, they use cyber and, as we’ve seen in the US, balloons,” he said.