China threatens “necessary means” after shooting down of spy balloon

One of China’s most senior journalists has highlighted an ominous sentence in a new statement from China’s Ministry of Defense following the shooting down of a suspected spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina.

Hu Xijin, the former editor of Chinese state media outlet ‘Global Times‘, points out that China has “reserved the right to use necessary means to deal with similar situations”.

Xijin then went on to explain that would mean if any unregistered aircraft was to enter Chinese airspace without warning, then the United States should expect similar consequences.

The retired editor, who still runs a small blog, has also accused the United States of “hyping” the spy balloon incident into the headlines to “stir-up” public opinion.

“China is dealing with an America that doesn’t need to drink to get drunk, and suffers from the hostility that it constantly generates from internal strife and spills over to the international stage,” Xijin said.

According to Xijin, the United States shot down the balloon to create an ending where it “won” and questioned the use of the most advanced F-22 fighter jets for what he has suggested was a relatively straight-forward mission.

He also believes, as the Chinese government has claimed, that the balloon floated to the United States by accident.

“On the one hand, it proves that China’s research on stratospheric airships has made great progress (but) the problem of loss of control has not been fundamentally resolved,” he said.

Xijin says some people in China are proud that it “surprised the Americans”, while others are unhappy because they feel it’s immature and has caused diplomatic stress.