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So, We Can’t Even Handle a Chinese Spy Balloon?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

After the deaths of millions of people across the globe, combined with life-altering and economic disruptions in every country, the Chinese Communist Party has been let off the hook for the COVID-19 pandemic — which started when the pathogen, engineered by scientists, escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

For months, Chinese jets have been buzzing Taiwan. In recent weeks, China conducted its largest-ever military drill surrounding the island country. 

And now, a massive Chinese spy balloon is hovering over the center of the country in violation of U.S. airspace and international law. The Pentagon says it could be there "for a few days." 

After being discovered, it took China hours to admit the balloon was, in fact, theirs while insisting it's just a "civilian airship" that veered off course. Pay no mind to where the balloon was conducting surveillance: over Malmstrom Air Force Base, where a number of ICBMs are housed. 

Instead of finding a way to immediately take the balloon out of the sky upon discovery, which alarmingly didn't happen until it was well into the continental U.S., U.S. officials have summoned Chinese ambassadors for a harsh talking to. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was set to travel to Beijing next week, has postponed his trip. 

During a briefing at the Pentagon Friday, the American people were given few answers about how this could happen, what the government is doing to end the situation and how it can be prevented in the future. Basic questions about how the balloon is being controlled went unanswered. We do know it keeps moving east, toward America's biggest population centers. 

"I'm not going to have much new information to provide…the balloon continues to move eastward and is currently over the center of the continental United States," Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said, adding an assessment the balloon doesn't pose a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Ryder couldn't say whether the balloon was being controlled by the Chinese or simply being carried by the wind. 

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, whose top job is to protect Americans from foreign threats, has nothing to say. At the White House, he refused to take questions on the matter before jetting off to a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Philadelphia. 

"I'm not gonna answer any questions about anything else," Biden said after touting the economy Friday, turning his back and walking away as reporters shouted questions about the national security incident. 

Once again, Biden's weakness against the Chinese Communist Party is on full display. 

"President Biden should stop coddling and appeasing the Chinese communists. Bring the balloon down now and exploit its tech package, which could be an intelligence bonanza," Republican Senator Tom Cotton suggested. "And President Biden and Secretary Austin need to answer if this ballon was detected over Alaskan airspace. If so, why didn't we bring it down there? If not, why not? As usual, the Chinese Communists' provocations have been met with weakness and hand-wringing." 

China is undeterred because it hasn't been held accountable for practically anything in a substantial way. Why wouldn't it be emboldened? Especially when it gets caught and gets to keep engaging in the same behavior. Not to mention President Biden's shady millions from China, which were obtained through the dealings of his son Hunter. 

"We'll continue to monitor it [the spy balloon]. Right now, we assess it will be over the U.S. for a few days," Ryder continued. 

China's latest incursion into the U.S. was a test, and the Biden administration has failed — in spectacular fashion. Not only by failing to prevent the surveillance tool from entering U.S. airspace in the first place, but if the U.S. can't issue some kind of deterrence in response to a spy balloon — conveniently operating above U.S. nuclear silos — we really are screwed. 


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