Pentagon Wants to Talk to China After Balloon Drop; They say no

After the United States military shot down its surveillance balloon, the Chinese government rejected the Pentagon’s request for a “safe call” between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Wei Fenghe, Minister of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China.

On Saturday, the Pentagon submitted a request for the call “but the PRC rejected our request shortly after the PRC took action to bring down the balloon.” We are committed to maintaining open lines of communication,” Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, a spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday.

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To carefully manage the relationship, he continued, “we believe in the importance of having open lines of communication between the United States and the PRC.” “At a time like this, the line between our military forces is very important.”

The Chinese surveillance balloon initially entered American airspace over the Aleutian Islands on January 28. It then entered Canadian territory, left over northern Idaho on January 31, and then continued across the country until it reached the Atlantic coast. Carolinas. An F-22 shot it down on Saturday afternoon.

Initially claiming that it was a civilian blimp “used for research, primarily for meteorological purposes,” China’s foreign ministry later said it “seriously disapproves and protests against US attacks on civilian drones by force.”

To understand more about China’s balloon program, the US military has launched a mission to collect debris after it was shot down.

Gen. Glenn VanHark, head of the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, told reporters Monday that there was an opportunity for us to get intelligence where we had gaps in previous balloons. “I’ll defer to the intelligence community on this one, but it gave us an opportunity to assess what they were actually doing and what kind of capabilities were in the balloon and the transmission system. And I believe you will realize in the future that the collection period was well suited to it.”

White House national security adviser Jack Sullivan said on Monday that the US goal is “to learn more than what we have recovered and what we have learned”.

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