China Withholds Balloon Apology, Wants One From US

Relations Between China and the United States reached a recent low as the communist country is demanding an end to U.S. support for Taiwan, as well as an apology for the downing of a Chinese spy balloon.

Beijing is requesting that Washington end its relationship with Taiwan and apologize for shooting down its spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina.

Chinese state media published a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry stating its assertion that the balloon was intended for monitoring weather data.

The state press also called for an apology for what it called “an abuse of the use of force” in shooting down the craft. It also called on the United States to stop supporting the government in Taipei.

The move comes as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he received no apology for sending the spy balloon over American soil from his Chinese counterpart.

Blinken said last week that the Chinese effort was a violation of American “sovereignty” and of “international law.” The secretary continued, stating that such Chinese actions were “unacceptable and can never happen again.”

The delay by the Biden Administration in shooting down the balloon received considerable criticism at home from both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. The balloon traveled approximately 2,500 miles from its discovery over Montana until it was shot down over the Atlantic.

China’s increasingly contentious attitude comes as relations between Beijing and Washington reach multi-decade lows.

The recent spat is the most serious confrontation between the two major powers since China forced down an American spy plane off of its coast in 2001. In that incident, China held 24 members of the American crew captive for 11 days and only released them and the spy plane after an apology from Washington.

China is also becoming more open about its support for Russia in its war in Ukraine, to the consternation of Washington.

Furthermore, China has become more aggressive in its posture toward Taiwan. China allegedly used fishing vessels to cut at least two undersea cables belonging to its neighbor.

The island democracy said last week that it would shoot down any potential Chinese spy balloons.

There has been no firm response from Washington yet, though Chinese diplomats touched down in Russia for negotiations with Beijing’s ally in Moscow.