China is now accusing the United States of flying high-altitude balloons over Chinese airspace with permission from its rulers. “Since last year, the U.S.’s high-altitude balloons have undergone more than 10 illegal flights into Chinese airspace without the approval of the relevant Chinese departments,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular briefing in Beijing in response to a question.
The U.S. ruling class quickly denied China’s claim, but the accusation (true or not) widened a dispute with the United States that began last weekend after the U.S. military shot down what it says was a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report by Reuters, this move prompted top U.S. diplomat Antony Blinken to cancel a trip to Beijing designed to ease tensions.
However, tensions continue to advance even higher.
Much like the ruling class in the U.S., China didn’t elaborate on the balloons or objects in the sky. The Chinese rulers simply said they were responding by being “reasonable and professional.”