The US says China has refused to contact the Pentagon after a suspected spy balloon was shot down

A US Protection Division spokesman stated Tuesday that Beijing had denied a request for a safe name between the Pentagon chief, Lloyd Austin, and his counterpart on the day a US warplane shot down a Chinese language surveillance balloon.

“On Saturday, February 4, instantly after motion was taken to shoot down the PRC balloon, the Division of Protection made a request for a safe name between Secretary of Protection Austin and PRC Minister of Nationwide Protection Wei Fenghe,” Brigadier Normal Pat Ryder stated in a press release, referring to the ROC. widespread.

“Sadly, the Individuals’s Republic of China rejected our request. Our dedication to open traces of communication will proceed,” Ryder added.

China says the blimp was a defective weather-monitoring plane with no navy function, however Washington has referred to as it a complicated high-altitude spy car.

After slowly crossing the central United States, reportedly over a number of top-secret navy websites, the balloon headed over the East Coast, the place it was shot down by a fighter jet on Saturday.

Austin and Wei met in Cambodia final November as Washington and Beijing sought to decrease the temperature after a go to by then Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi angered China.

However the balloon accident escalated tensions, prompting US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to cancel a uncommon journey to Beijing.

On Monday, President Joe Biden defended the choice to attend till the balloon had handed throughout the nation to shoot it down, saying the Protection Division had concluded it was finest accomplished over water.

Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby stated the identical day that measures had been taken to make sure balloon devices have been “mitigated” of their potential to spy whereas in flight, whereas “on the identical time rising and bettering our potential to collect intelligence from it.”

Gen. Glenn VanHerk, commander of US Northern Command, stated the warship will map the particles subject left by the airship, which is predicted to measure about 1,500 meters by 1,500 meters (yards) within the Atlantic Ocean.

He stated the balloon itself was 200 toes (60 metres) excessive and carried a payload of a number of thousand kilos, in regards to the measurement of a regional jet.

VanHerck stated the balloon wreckage will probably be rigorously studied.

“I do not know the place the wreckage goes to go for a last evaluation, however I’ll inform you that the intelligence group together with the legislation enforcement group engaged on this below counterintelligence will definitely take an excellent take a look at it,” he stated. .


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