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Tipsheet

Blinken Meets With China Diplomat For the First Time Since Spy Balloon Controversy

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with China's diplomat for the first time since the U.S. shot down a Chinese spy balloon. 

Meeting on the margins of the Munich Security Conference, Blinken reportedly told Wang Yi that the presence of a Chinese spy balloon in U.S. airspace was "unacceptable" and "can never happen again."

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"This was an opportunity to speak very clearly and very directly about the fact that China sent a surveillance balloon over our territory, violating our sovereignty, violating international law," Blinken said in an interview with NBC News Chuck Todd. 

The Chinese counterpart did not offer an apology and maintained the narrative that the balloon was used for meteorological research and not surveillance.

State Department spokesman Ned Price released a statement shortly after the pair's meeting, saying that Blinken "made clear" the U.S. "will not stand for any violation of our sovereignty."

Before the meeting, Wang Yi mocked America, saying its response to the Chinese balloon was "absurd and hysterical," adding that China would take "countermeasures" against U.S. entities involved in shooting down the balloon.

Blinken highlighted the importance of maintaining a direct line of communication with Wang Yi.

"I think this is something that the world expects of us," Blinken told Todd. "They expect us to manage this relationship responsibly." 

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According to Price, Blinken also spoke with the Chinese diplomat about North Korea's missile program, condemning ICBM by the DPRK.

"The Secretary reiterated President Biden's statements that the United States will compete and will unapologetically stand up for our values and interests, but that we do not want conflict with the PRC and are not looking for a new Cold War. The Secretary underscored the importance of maintaining diplomatic dialogue and open lines of communication at all times," Price said. 

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