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    HomeWorldChina Plays Down Blinken's Canceled Visit Over Balloon

    China Plays Down Blinken’s Canceled Visit Over Balloon

    China Plays Down Blinken’s Canceled Visit Over Balloon

    , (AP) — played down the cancellation of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken after a large Chinese balloon suspected of conducting surveillance on U.S. military sites roiled diplomatic relations, saying that neither side had formally announced any such plan.

    “In actuality, the U.S. and China have never announced any visit, the U.S. making any such announcement is their own business, and we respect that,” China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Saturday morning.

    Blinken was due to visit Beijing on Sunday for talks aimed at reducing U.S.-China tensions, the first such high-profile trip after the countries' leaders met last November in . But the U.S. abruptly canceled the trip after the discovery of the huge balloon despite China's claim that it was merely a weather research “airship” that had blown off course.

    The Pentagon rejected that out of hand — as well as China's contention that the balloon was not being used for surveillance and had only limited navigational ability.

    Uncensored reactions on the Chinese internet mirrored the official government stance that the U.S. was hyping up the situation.

    Many users made jokes about the balloon. Some said that since the U.S. had put restrictions on the technology that China is able to buy to weaken the Chinese tech industry, they couldn't control the balloon.

    Others called it the “wandering…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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