Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Blinken Accuses Beijing of “Considering” Arming Moscow Without Evidence | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on February 21, 2023

  1. One, such as an ambassador, who has been appointed to represent a government in its relations with other governments.
  2. One who uses skill and tact in dealing with others.

Skill and Tact! You will have to go back a century or two find competent secretary of state.

by Connor Freeman

Amid simmering tensions between Washington and Beijing, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. After the White House ordered the military to shoot down a Chinese balloon which floated over the continental United States, there was a major breakdown in diplomacy. Previously, US officials suggested Blinken would take advantage of the opportunity to help de-escalate the situation and reach some quasi-détente. Instead Blinken confronted Wang over the balloon incident and warned China against providing weapons to Russia for use in its war with Ukraine.

“This was an opportunity to speak very clearly and very directly about the fact that China sent a surveillance balloon over our territory, violating our sovereignty, violating international law. And I told him quite simply that that was unacceptable and can never happen again,” Blinken told NBC’s “Meet The Press.” Without providing further details on the meeting, Blinken said “I can tell you, no, there was no apology.”

After the Pentagon announced a Chinese balloon had entered U.S. airspace and that it posed no threat to Americans, Blinken canceled his long planned trip to China where he would have met with Wang and possibly President Xi Jinping.

Though the Department of Defense claims – without evidence – that it was a surveillance device, Beijing maintains that it was a meteorological balloon, for civilian purposes only, and that it entered US airspace as a result of abnormal weather. Last week, the Washington Post also reported that unexpected weather blew the balloon off course, adding US intelligence and military agencies had tracked the balloon since it was launched from Hainan Island, China’s southernmost province.

They expected the balloon to travel over to Guam, where the Marine Corps is opening new bases as part of Washington’s “Asia Pivot,” a policy launched during the Barack Obama administration to encircle China in preparation for a future war, the largest military buildup since World War II.

The balloon was shot down by a F-22 on February 4th, after which Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin was declined a call with his Chinese counterpart. On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin declared Washington’s actions have “had a grave impact on the efforts and progress made by China and the US in stabilizing bilateral relations” since President Joe Biden met with XI in Bali last fall. Beijing also said that at least 10 US high-altitude balloons have flown over its territory since last year.

Wang also pointed to the heavy American military presence in waters surrounding China, saying “US military vessels and aircraft conduct frequent close-in reconnaissance on China, including 657 sorties last year and 64 sorties in January this year in the South China Sea alone, which seriously undermines China’s national security and regional peace and stability.”

Blinken says he emphasized Washington’s “deep concern” over information he claims the US has that shows China is considering providing “lethal assistance” to Moscow as well. “We’ve been watching this very, very closely. And, for the most part, China has been engaged in providing rhetorical, political, diplomatic support to Russia, but we have information that gives us concern that they are considering providing lethal support to Russia in the war against Ukraine.”

“We see China considering this. We have not seen them cross that line,” he asserted. “We are concerned that this is something that China was not doing for many months but may be considering now,” adding if China crosses that line it could spark a “new Cold War.”

Blinken said the US is only sharing this intelligence with allies right now and implied it reveals a sudden shift in China’s posture regarding the war in Ukraine. In response to a question about how “lethal” support is defined, Blinken clarified “everything from ammunition to the weapons themselves.”

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