White House Responds to New CCP Claim: ‘We Are Not Flying Balloons Over China’

Andrew Thornebrooke
By Andrew Thornebrooke
February 13, 2023China News

Communist China’s new claim that the United States sent 10 balloons into its territory throughout last year is being dismissed by U.S. officials as false.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin asserted during a Feb. 13 press conference that U.S. balloons illegally entered Chinese airspace 10 times throughout 2022.

The claim was immediately dismissed by National Security Council (NSC) Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby.

“Not true. Not doing it. Just absolutely not true,” Kirby said during a Feb. 13 interview with MSNBC.

“We are not flying balloons over China.”

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) claim follows two weeks of international fallout after one of the regime’s spy balloons flew over the continental United States, approaching several sites linked to the U.S. military’s nuclear facilities.

The United States ultimately shot down the Chinese spy balloon near the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4, a full week after it was originally spotted over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

U.S. officials have since shared intelligence with other countries about China’s spy balloon program, which they say has targeted at least 40 nations across five continents. Beijing, meanwhile, has insisted the balloon was used for civilian purposes and strayed into U.S. airspace accidentally.

“Any claim that the U.S. government operates surveillance balloons over the PRC [People’s Republic of China] is false,” said NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson in a tweet. “It is China that has a high-altitude surveillance balloon program for intelligence collection, that it has used to violate the sovereignty of the US and over 40 countries across 5 continents.

“This is the latest example of China scrambling to do damage control,” Watson said in another tweet.

“It has repeatedly and wrongly claimed the surveillance balloon it sent over the US was a weather balloon and has failed to offer any credible explanations for its intrusion into our airspace, airspace of others.”

The CCP, which rules China as a single-party state, has been developing balloons for several different military purposes in recent years.

An official publication of the CCP’s military wing published in 2020 suggested that the regime could use high-altitude balloons like the one shot down this month to spread terror and confusion.

“In the future, balloon platforms may become like submarines in the deep sea, a silent killer that brings terror,” the CCP publication said.

In one incident covered by Chinese state-owned media in 2018 and subsequently deleted, the Chinese military used a high-altitude balloon to lift and drop hypersonic missiles for testing purposes.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.