A US weather balloon launched to gather weather data close to the Meyers Fire area in Montana in September 2017InternationalIndiaAfricaOver the past few weeks the US Air Force has been countering an invasion of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), which swarmed the nation’s airspace all of a sudden, while China has urged Washington to put on the big boy pants and return to the negotiating table.Shooting down of the alleged Chinese spy balloon earlier this month did not end the Biden administration’s righteous anger over US airspace violations. On the contrary, three extra unidentified flying objects have been taken down so far by the US military.The unfolding “war of balloons” is great for entertainment purposes, according to Thomas W. Pauken II, author of “US vs China: From Trade War to Reciprocal Deal” and Beijing-based consultant on Asia-Pacific affairs and geopolitical commentator.”By a week or two later, you might even see media stories of Americans seeking cooperation with the Chinese to stop a space alien invasion. Yes, it sounds comical but space aliens invading earth is a more interesting tale than a Chinese weather balloon,” Pauken told Sputnik, adding that shooting down innocuous high-altitude objects is great for the Biden administration’s propaganda purposes.A number of US commentators have come to the conclusion that Washington’s airship hysteria is likely a distraction peddled by the Biden administration to draw the public’s attention away from his political failures and bombshell revelations. Indeed, no surveillance balloon can outperform a big number of sophisticated satellites flying round in orbit and monitoring the situation from space.Viral’Wouldn’t Really Call it A Balloon’: Audio Shows US Pilots Confused by Object Downed Over Lake Huron14 February, 16:49 GMT”No sooner after the balloon fiasco last weekend that in retrospect appears to be more a US psyop than a Chinese spy operation, it was used to misdirect public attention away from Biden’s gross failures with his open border, his plunging national economy, and US fatigue setting in over giving away the kitchen sink in a losing cause in Ukraine, so for the last three straight days, US fighter jets have been firing missiles each day to shoot down back-to-back-to-back unidentified aerial objects flying into North America’s airspace,” Scott Bennett, a veteran of the 11th Psychological Operations Battalion of the US Army and former State Department counterterrorism analyst, told Sputnik.The US Army veteran noted that “while the White House has just announced a new interagency team to deal with the sudden influx of ‘invading’ unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), it and the Pentagon have been extremely vague and avoidantly tightlipped withholding information and likely truth, which of course, by consequential design, fuels the wild speculation of so-called ‘conspiracy theories.'”One of these inconvenient stories is the Nord Stream bombshell by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. Last week, he shed light on Team Biden’s apparent plot to destroy the Russo-European natural gas pipeline infrastructure. According to Hersh’s report, US President Joe Biden decided to sabotage the Nord Stream pipelines after more than nine months of secret discussions with the national security team.Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, who lives in Russia, alleged that the panic over flying objects downed above the United States and Canada and amplified by the US mainstream media is designed to eclipse Hersh’s expose.Donald Trump Jr. echoed Snowden on Telegram by posting a picture showing a woman in a supermarket looking at items labeled “UFOS,” while a giant, pink inflatable balloon elephant labeled “The US blew up Nord Stream” looks on from behind it.Nord Stream SabotageSnowden: US Creates Panic Over Downed Objects to Distract Attention From Nord Stream Blast14 February, 06:37 GMT
Sad Effect of Comical Incident
The Biden administration’s apparent psyop comes at the expense of US-China relations, which have kept declining since the beginning of Joe’s presidency. The fuss over the Chinese balloon disrupted Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Beijing.”The Chinese government was very upset that Blinken had canceled his visit to Beijing,” Pauken said. “It was not only rude, but cowardly. They couldn’t understand why Blinken was too frightened to confront Chinese diplomats, face-to-face. They expected him to arrive in Beijing and yes they had anticipated there would have been a big argument; but at least both the Chinese and American sides could have real and frank discussions. Sometimes, arguments can turn into negotiations and when that happens – both sides can start reaching consensus and agreements on major issues of vital concern. But Blinken canceled the trip and that had stopped direct communications between Beijing and Washington.”The US military shot down the first balloon on February 4, days after it was detected over the northern part of the country. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin claimed that the balloon was used by the People’s Republic of China “in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.”The Chinese government repeatedly stressed that the balloon was just a weather device. Once the airship was taken down by the US military, Beijing slammed Washington for “overreacting” adding that it “reserves the right” to take appropriate measures to deal with “similar situations.”AsiaBeijing Says US Balloons Illegally Entered China’s Airspace Over 10 Times Since Early 202213 February, 11:45 GMTWhile Washington has accused Beijing of supposed “irresponsibility,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry revealed that the US had illegally flown its high-altitude airships over the People’s Republic’s airspace more than 10 times without permission since the beginning of 2022. The US leadership claimed that nothing of the kind had ever happened.The alleged “threat” posed by Chinese balloons appears to be hot air, and so does Washington’s spat with China. According to Pauken, the diplomatic row could be solved easily: “It’s time to move on and let bygones be bygones,” he said.What’s worse, the bizarre incident is being used to whip up anti-China sentiment in the Asia-Pacific region. On Monday, Washington hosted consultations between the United States, South Korea, and Japan on security cooperation in the region. Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman, Japanese Vice Minister Takeo Mori, and Republic of Korea (ROK) First Vice Minister Cho Hyundong discussed the “balloon” issue among other issues.At the joint presser, Takeo Mori supported the US position and stated that Japan is looking forward to more information about the problems with the balloon, and will continue to communicate with the US to have a deeper understanding of the issue. Cho Hyungdon, for his part, backed the position of the United States, and noted that Seoul expects opportunities for high-level dialogue with China and joint discussion of the balloon issue in the future. Furthermore, both Japan and South Korea are continuing military build-up under the guise of perceived “threats” from China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).AmericasUS Trade Deficit Reaches Nearly $1 Trillion: What Does This Say About the American Economy?8 February, 15:59 GMT
US Still Intertwined With China
At the same time, however, it appears that the US simply cannot afford to throw its relations with China in the dustbin. Recent data from the US Commercial Department indicated that US-China trade did not decline in 2022, despite simmering tensions and new anti-China sanctions. The US trade deficit with China amounted to $382.9 billion. The media suggested that this happened due to US companies’ unwillingness or inability to sharply cut ties with China.”The Biden administration is all talk and no action or the dog that’s all bark and no bite,” Pauken said. “Besides, US-China economic and hi-tech decoupling would be catastrophic to the US economy and tech industry if indeed Washington implements tougher trade and investment regulations against Chinese companies. China plays a large role in global supply chains and international trade.””To block Chinese companies in the US or in other Western nations would result in severe disruptions to the world’s economic activities. American consumers and even US-based manufacturers would be severely impacted if Chinese companies can’t work with American companies. Accordingly, we can see that US firms ignored the anti-China sentiments in the US had continued working with Chinese firms, business as usual,” the Beijing-based commentator concluded.