Republicans criticise Biden for waiting to shoot down Chinese balloon

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WASHINGTON: Republican US lawmakers on Sunday (Feb 5) criticised President Joe Biden for waiting days to shoot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floated over the United States, accusing him of showing weakness toward China and initially trying to keep the breach of US airspace undisclosed. A US Ai

WASHINGTON: Republican US lawmakers on Sunday criticised President Joe Biden for waiting days to shoot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floated over the United States, accusing him of showing weakness toward China and initially trying to keep the breach of US airspace undisclosed., a week after it first entered US airspace near Alaska, triggering a dramatic spying saga that has further strained American-Chinese relations.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Saturday the US military was able to collect"valuable" intelligence by studying the balloon, and that three other Chinese surveillance balloons had transited the United States during Donald Trump's administration - a disclosure the Republican former president denied.

"We should have shot this balloon down over the Aleutian Islands. We should never have allowed it to transit the entire continental United States," said Republican Tom Cotton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referring to the chain of small islands that arc off the coast of mainland Alaska.

Cotton told the Fox News Sunday programme that he believed Biden had waited to disclose the penetration of US airspace because he wanted to salvage Secretary of State Antony Blinken's planned diplomatic trip to Beijing, which"I think part of it is the president's reluctance to take any action that would be viewed as provocative or confrontational towards the Chinese communists," Cotton added.

Biden, a Democrat, said on Saturday he issued an order on Wednesday to down the balloon after it crossed into Montana, but the Pentagon recommended waiting until it could be done over open water to protect civilians from debris crashing to Earth from nearly twice the altitude of commercial air traffic.

Source: Tech Daily Report (techdailyreport.net)

 

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