Lu Xiang, a Chinese researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the use of US force against a Chinese unmanned civilian balloon could set a “bad” precedent in US-China relations.
According to Lu Xiang, American planes, whether civilian or military, fly around China more often than Chinese planes around the United States.
“If the United States does not distinguish between civil and military aircraft, a very bad precedent will be set in Sino-US relations,” Lu Xiang told the Global Times.
As the publication points out, citing “think tanks and media reports,” the United States sometimes conduct intelligence activities in the Taiwan Strait, South China and East China Seas under the cover of civil aviation.
“If the United States does not change anything, should China change the situation? Should China also retaliate? The United States must carefully weigh the consequences, ”the expert added.
A Chinese military expert told the newspaper on condition of anonymity that the US measures are technically like “shooting a mosquito with an artillery shell”, which is not only excessive but also inappropriate.
He said using an advanced stealth fighter and a missile to intercept an unpowered unmanned balloon was “very expensive”.
Earlier, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed that the army, on behalf of President Joe Biden, on Saturday shot down a Chinese-owned balloon that “penetrated” US airspace, and, according to the head of the Pentagon, the device was used to monitor strategic objects.
The United States spotted the balloon earlier this month and President Joe Biden was briefed, and on Saturday, the US President said he had ordered the shooting down of the reconnaissance balloon last Wednesday but heeded the advice of the Pentagon and decided not to endanger civilians on the ground. .
The movement of the balloon was tracked by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). In this regard, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken postponed his visit to China due to the incident.
In turn, China said that it does not accept groundless speculation and hype around the situation with the balloon, stressing that the situation arose as a result of force majeure, and the device is a weather balloon that deviated from its course due to bad weather.
On Sunday, China’s foreign and defense ministries protested the US attack on a Chinese airship, calling the US response “excessive.”
And the Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that the Chinese side repeatedly notified the American side after checking that the balloon was intended for civilian use and entered US airspace due to force majeure, which happened completely unintentionally.
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