Pentagon Wants To Speak With China After Downing Balloon; They Say No

After the United States military shot down its surveillance balloon, the Chinese government rejected the Pentagon’s request for a “secure call” between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and People’s Republic of China Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe.

On Saturday, the Pentagon submitted a request for the call “But “the PRC has rejected our request shortly after initiating measures to bring down the PRC balloon. We remain committed to maintaining open lines of communication “Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson, stated in a statement on Tuesday.

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In order to carefully manage the relationship, he continued, “We believe in the significance of having open lines of communication between the United States and the PRC.” “In times like this, the lines between our military are very crucial.”

The Chinese surveillance balloon initially entered American airspace over the Aleutian Islands on January 28. It then crossed into Canadian territory, left again over northern Idaho on January 31, and then continued across the country until it was over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Carolinas. On Saturday afternon, an F-22 shot it down.

Initially claiming that this was a civilian blimp “used for study, primarily meteorological purposes,” China’s Foreign Ministry has later stated that it “seriously disapproves of and protests against the U.S. attack on a civilian unmanned airship by force.”

In order to understand more about China’s balloon program, U.S. military forces have started a mission to gather the debris after shooting it down.

The head of the United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, Gen. Glen VanHerck, told reporters on Monday that there may have been a chance for us to get intelligence where we had gaps on earlier balloons. “I will defer to the intelligence community in this case, but this offered us the chance to evaluate what they were actually doing and what sort of capabilities were on the balloon and in the transmission system. And I believe you’ll realize in the future that the collection period was well worth it.”

Similar to how the United States aims to “exploit what we recover and learn even more than we have learned,” White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan stated on Monday.

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