On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a scheduled trip to Beijing this weekend in response to China sending a large surveillance balloon over the Northwest United States this week.
According to the US official, Blinken and Joe Biden agreed it was best to cancel the trip for the time being.
Blinken’s cancellation comes after President Trump called on the Biden administration to shoot down the balloon. Joe Biden has instead decided to let the balloon continue spying on the U.S.
In a statement late on Friday, a spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement following the postponement of Blinken’s visit to China.
The spokesperson claimed that the suspected spy balloon was a ‘civilian meteorological’ vessel used for scientific research that deviated from the scheduled route. The spokesperson then added that it was a ‘force majeure’ accident, and blamed it on American politicians and the media for trying to demonize China.
Below is the statement translated by The Gateway Pundit:
As for the Chinese unmanned airship straying into the U.S. airspace due to force majeure, China has checked and provided feedback to the U.S. The airship is a civilian biomass, used for meteorological and other scientific research. Affected by the west wind belt, and the airship deviated from its scheduled route due to its own limited control capability. This was entirely an accident caused by force majeure, and the facts are very clear. China has always strictly abided by international law and respected the sovereignty of all countries. And territorial integrity, and has never intended and never violated the territory and airspace of any sovereign state. Some politicians and media in the United States took advantage of the issue to attack and discredit China. China firmly opposes it.
Maintaining contact and communication at all levels is an important consensus reached by the heads of state of China and the United States. One of the responsibilities of the diplomatic teams of the two countries is to properly manage and control bilateral relations, especially to deal with some accidents calmly and steadily condition. As a matter of fact, neither China nor the US has announced any visits. It is the US’s own business to release relevant information, and we respect that.