The United States of America is facing a unique situation as it grapples with the presence of a Chinese surveillance balloon floating over Montana. The Biden administration has opted against shooting down the balloon, and one expert warned that China may interpret the inaction as a sign of U.S. weakness. In this blog post, we’ll explore the implications of the U.S.’s decision to allow the balloon to stay airborne and the reactions from both sides.
The Chinese surveillance balloon was first spotted over Montana, and the Biden administration was briefed on the situation. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley advised against taking “kinetic action” due to potential risks to people on the ground. President Biden accepted this recommendation, leading to condemnation from Republicans and other experts.
Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China”, told Fox News Digital that the Chinese may interpret the decision as a sign of U.S. weakness. Chang believes that the argument that shooting down the balloon is too dangerous is “silly” and “dangerous”. He argued that the most dangerous course of action is to continue the current policy, which has created the conditions for war.
Despite the criticism, the White House announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to China to discuss the Russia-Ukraine war and meet with President Xi has been postponed. A senior defense official said that the U.S. “just couldn’t buy down the risk enough to feel comfortable recommending shooting it down yesterday”.
The situation has created a difficult dilemma for the Biden administration. On the one hand, there is the risk of taking action and potentially endangering people on the ground. On the other hand, there is the risk of inaction and sending a message of U.S. weakness to China. No matter the outcome, the implications of this situation are far-reaching and will shape the U.S.’s relationship with China for years to come.