What a strange sight it must have been for folks in Montana when a massive surveillance balloon believed to be from China floated over their heads! President Joe Biden is now facing growing pressure to address the situation, as Republicans call for stronger action against Beijing. But what exactly is going on? Read on to find out!
As it stands, Biden has decided against ordering military action against the balloon, but the United States is closely monitoring the situation and “keeping all options open.” Some Republicans, such as Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have called for the balloon to be shot down, while others such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton have urged Biden to take a stronger stance against China.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has asked for the congressional “Gang of Eight” top members to be briefed on the situation. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed his visit to Beijing, originally scheduled for next week, as officials weigh what to do next.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that the balloon is civilian in nature and used for scientific research, “mainly meteorological,” and that it deviated from its planned course due to “force majeure.”
It’s clear that this unexpected situation has raised a lot of questions and concerns, and it will be interesting to see how Biden and the U.S. government address the issue. Stay tuned for more updates!