A Little Ruckus, by Martine Boulard (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds AFP Getty

In In just a few hours, President Biden went from “Sleepy Joe” to Terminator. On February 4, he scrambled an F-22 Raptor stealth fighter equipped with America’s most advanced missile, the AIM-9X Sidewinder, and shot down a “balloon of size.” Three buses flew at an altitude of about 20,000 meters off the coast of South Carolina. He ordered a second balloon shot down off Alaska on 10 February. A day later, a third passed over Canadian territory. And the next day, the 4th run on Lake Huron. Never before had there been so much movement in the skies of North America. Then Sheriff Joe holstered the gun.

Three weeks later, the president said, “We still don’t know exactly what these three objects were, but at this time we suspect they may be related to China’s balloon program, or surveillance vehicles from other countries. There is nothing to suggest that there was,” he admitted (CNN, Feb. 17, 2023). Shoot first, ask questions later… Nevertheless, many Americans are convinced the Chinese are up to no good. Republican and Democratic politicians agree on who the enemy is, and (understandably) the tone of the press and television reports is bordering on hysterical.Some Republicans speculated that the first balloon might have contained a ‘biological weapon’, spreading panic (1)some posted (widely shared) selfies pointing their rifles at them.

On February 13, White House press secretary Carine Jean-Pierre told reporters, “There is no sign of aliens or extraterrestrial activity… It was important,” he told reporters. There is a lot about it. This is not the first time an unidentified flying object made in China has flown through US territory, according to US officials. Since 2018, entire fleets of balloons have been launched across five continents, targeting countries of strategic interest to China such as Japan, Vietnam and Vietnam.Philippines and India (2). Is it a coincidence that these countries all want the US government to join the campaign against China in the Indo-Pacific?

Then, as if by chance, Japan recalled numerous sightings of flying objects over its territory in November 2019, June 2020 and September 2021. Taiwan also reported a similar incident. Even Scotland claimed to have detected Chinese aerial surveillance of some prisons.

Therefore, China aims to conquer the world and sends “alien craft” everywhere.The Proof: Before anyone knew the Chinese government could place these devices in the stratosphere, China began using apps to control the minds of America’s youth and others. (3). This is apparently the secret aim of TikTok, the short-video app owned by Chinese company ByteDance and with over 100 million users in the US. Half of all U.S. states have already banned employees from using TikTok at work, and a blanket ban or forced sale of ByteDance’s U.S. TikTok business is imminent in the name of national security. It is said. China itself has banned TikTok, forcing ByteDance to stick to the basic Chinese version. As such, TikTok is as unwelcome in Washington as it is in Beijing, for fear of communist contamination and liberal indoctrination.

Even Maxine Waters, the respected African-American Democratic Rep. of California’s 43rd congressional district and an outspoken opponent of the 2003 Iraq war, is frightened. At a meeting of the (bipartisan) House Financial Services Committee on “Fighting Economic Threats from China,” he said, “The Chinese Communist Party’s dictatorship is trying to rebuild the international order as it replaces the U.S. leadership.” there is,” he said. (Four). “China is the single biggest threat to America’s global standing,” said Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, chairman of the committee.

This may explain why Biden chose to make the balloon a major diplomatic event, even though China has apologized and fired the head of the weather agency who was formally responsible for the balloon. It is unlikely that China’s meteorological bureau was only measuring wind power, and in any case such data could have civil as well as military use. Some experts have even suggested that the PLA was testing US defenses in the stratosphere, where China’s first balloon was first discovered. It is 20-50 km thick and belongs to no one, so there is theoretical freedom of navigation. So it’s not an unreasonable assumption.

Focus on US presidential election

Under normal circumstances, there would be some expression of anger, and then diplomacy would resume. This time, “I really think the whole incident was out of proportion.” (Five)Emma Ashford, a senior fellow at the Stimson Center, a U.S.-based think tank, says it’s highly unlikely he’s a Chinese sympathizer. With less than two years until the presidential election, Mr. Biden wants to be seen as being as tough on China as he is on Russia in Ukraine. Not just from our Asian allies, but from the American people as well. Why ignore the political benefits of such a union between Democrats and Republicans? Even if some Republicans, driven by the same election concerns, are overthinking.of wall street journal said on February 17, “Biden seems to be struggling to take a tough stance on China, but we have this whole episode as a way to save his astounding victory in pulling out of Afghanistan. It looks like they want to put it in the same box of memories.”

Nations spy on each other all the time.Americans are using all sorts of technology to gather information about China and other nations: satellites, phone taps, computer intrusions, and even good old human intelligence sources.

Emma Ashford

What is very clear, however, is the consensus about the need to extend sanctions against China and ensure China’s technological isolation. Ashford points out that the Chinese are doing nothing new: “States are always spying on each other.” “Americans are using all kinds of technology to gather information about China and other nations: satellites, tapping phones, breaking into computers, and even good old human intelligence sources.” Until proven otherwise, it was not the Chinese who spied on the political leaders of Germany and France and other US allies, but the US.

read french everyday Le Monde, And there is no doubt. Not only did the Feb. 10 article refute the U.S. authorities’ investigation without a single word of criticism, but it also said, “The Pentagon refuses to compare China’s plans with its own experiments, especially , a facility at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Columbia Science Balloon Facility in Texas, according to an article by satellite imaging company Planet Labs. wall street journal, “Launch sites in Inner Mongolia seen from the air” [in China] It looks just like NASA’s. But NASA says the balloon, which is 20 times the estimated size of China, will only conduct research for civilian purposes. Well, if NASA says so…

In France, only a few observers, including Jean-François DiMerio, director of the think-tank Asia Centre, dared to suggest that the “whole incident was outrageously blown up by the United States.” No official voice dares deny the US version of events being treated as gospel. Twenty years after Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin delivered a speech at the United Nations denouncing the White House’s determination to invade Iraq, France is dragging itself into Washington’s policy of diplomatic obstruction and technology blockade.

The Chinese balloon came at just the right moment for Biden in terms of getting America’s (sometimes reluctant) allies and American voters on board.

https://mondediplo.com/2023/03/07china-spy-balloon A Little Ruckus, by Martine Boulard (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Exit mobile version