søndag 19. februar 2023

Blinken and Chinese counterpart meet in first face-to-face since spy balloon shot down

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi on Saturday, in the first face-to-face between senior US and Chinese officials since the US military shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon earlier this month.

In a meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Blinken “directly spoke to the unacceptable violation of US sovereignty and international law” and said incidents like the surveillance balloon, which hovered over US airspace for days before the US shot it down off the coast of South Carolina, “must never occur again,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said statement.

Blinken, who a senior State Department official characterized as “very direct and candid throughout,” began the hourlong meeting by stating “how unacceptable and irresponsible” it was that China had flown the balloon into US airspace. The secretary later expressed disappointment that Beijing had not engaged in military-to-military dialogue when the Chinese balloon incident occurred, the senior official told reporters.