After dropping the Chinese balloon, will Sino-US relations deteriorate?

Published February 7th, 2023 - 01:20 GMT
Sino US relations

ALBAWABA - The shooting down of the Chinese balloon by an American fighter plane days ago, began to shed its negative impact on the developing Sino-U.S. relationship and has raised questions about its fate.

A Chinese reconnaissance balloon was flying at high altitude over the Atlantic off the coast of South Carolina last week when it was shot down by a U.S. Northern Command fighter Saturday, at the direction of American President Joe Biden.

Not the first time!

This is not the first time China flies a balloon over the U.S. Beijing, however, claimed that the balloon was for scientific purposes, while Washington insists it was for espionage, as it took images of long-range nuclear missiles based in Montana.

The Pentagon previously announced it had been tracking a balloon, insisting it was a snooping object, days before it was brought down.

Beijing condemns 

Hours after the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the downing of the balloon, Beijing condemned the act leading to escalation of tensions between the two rival countries.

In numerous comments China accused the U.S. and its officials of overreacting and seriously violating what it considered as usual international practices!

Postponed visit

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was to visit China this weekend, but he soon postponed indefinitely his trip after the shooting down of the balloon. Blinken was scheduled to discuss issues that has been spiking tension between both countries, such the one related to Taiwan.

China threatens, but..?

After the balloon was downed, China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement its country will firmly uphold its legitimate rights and interests and at the same time reserve the right to take further measures in response to what happened. In spite of this threat however, it is difficult to believe China will take a drastic step and actually shoot down an American military plane, or strike an American military ship, given the fact it is much aware of the dangers of such actions and the impact it would have common interests. Therefore the Foreign Ministry statement is said to be made to absorb Chinese anger.


Both parties should put aside differences

It is believed in many political circles however the latest incident will have a negative impact on an already strained relationship between the two but this will not last forever; for both sides will not further add to the rocky relationship because of this incident,  especially since Biden met with Chinese President, Xi Jinping in Bali last fall, where relations between both countries showed some improvement.

This meeting was certainly needed in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and its dire economic consequences for the world. Perhaps the time now requires powerful countries to slow down, think about the interests of their people and put aside differences.

And if the U.S. was wrong in downing the balloon, China was also wrong in sending it in the first place and in the midst of much talk about Chinese spying on America.

By Razan Abdelhadi

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