The House of Representatives of the US Congress, in a resolution adopted on Thursday, February 9, accused China of violating US sovereignty and misleading the international community in a dispute over a Chinese reconnaissance balloon shot down over the United States.
Members of the House of Representatives unanimously passed the document, but Republican deputies criticized the Democratic president Joe Biden for failing to take timely action to destroy the Chinese facility.
The details of the incident last week were disclosed to members of Congress behind closed doors by representatives of the State Department, the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies. According to information leaked from the hearing, government officials said they waited more than a week to destroy the balloon because they did not want to escalate military tensions or even risk a military conflict with China. A Pentagon spokesman said on Saturday that China’s defense minister refused to talk to his US counterpart. Lloyd Austin by phone about the incident.
Senior Foreign Ministry officials said that according to their current knowledge, the Chinese device is capable of electronic monitoring. It was also reported that US U-2 reconnaissance aircraft collected information about the balloon and determined that after the US detected its presence in the airspace, it was no longer transmitting data.
A Chinese reconnaissance air device was destroyed over the sea off the East Coast on Saturday, 8 days after it appeared in US airspace over Alaska. Since then, US Navy units have been collecting the remains of the device. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said on Thursday that the first fragments of the balloon had arrived at its laboratory in Quantico, Va., where a detailed investigation is underway.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed this week that it was not a spy balloon, but a civilian meteorological airship that veered off course. He called irresponsible the American response, which he said was part of the US information war against China.