President Biden’s handling of the Chinese balloon incident has drawn criticism from both sides of the political aisle, with Republicans and Democrats unifying in their condemnation of China’s actions. The U.S. shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon last week, an act that China’s state-run media outlets have slammed as “immature and irresponsible.”
In an op-ed in the People’s Daily, a state-run news outlet, it was suggested that President Biden’s low approval ratings and pressure from Republicans to take a tough stance on China were what led to his “overreaction” to the balloon incident. The op-ed also appeared in China Daily, the largest news outlet in China.
The same day that the U.S. shot down the balloon, it also took down an unknown object, leading to accusations from China’s hardline publication Global Times that President Biden was trying to look tough on China by staging a “juvenile farce” in the sky.
The Global Times op-ed also accused the Biden administration of lying to the world about the nature of the Chinese airship, which it insisted was a civilian airship for meteorological use and not a spy balloon.
However, despite China’s attempts to portray the U.S. as being caught up in partisan politics, both Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives voted unanimously to condemn China for sending balloons and other vessels into U.S. airspace.
Both parties have accused China of being the provocateur, not the U.S., and have made it clear that China’s word cannot be trusted.
The House of Representatives also voted in January to create a new committee to pay closer attention to China, after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, declared that the “era of trusting communist China is over.”
This week, Democrats also had harsh words for China for trying to downplay its routine intrusion into U.S. airspace. Congressman Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, stated that China’s arrogance in the face of the U.S. shooting down their balloon over American territory was not surprising and was the result of decades of China getting away with things.
Overall, it is clear that China’s actions have drawn condemnation from both sides of the political aisle in the U.S., and that the Biden administration’s handling of the situation has been criticized for being “immature and irresponsible.” The U.S. and China appear to be at odds, with the U.S. determined to protect its sovereignty and China unwilling to back down from its provocative acts.