President Biden has defended his decision to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon after it transited across the United States.
While speaking to reporters, President Biden said the United States “did the right thing” and that he had always intended to bring it down “as soon as it was appropriate.” When asked about the impact of the incident on US-China relations, Biden replied that it would have no impact, saying that “We made it clear to China what we’re going to do, they understand our position, we’re not going to back off. We did the right thing, and there’s not a question of weakening or strengthening, it’s just the reality.”
Biden was also asked why the Chinese government would commit such a brazen act, to which he laughed and said, “They’re the Chinese government.” He added that the question of the balloon was not one of trust, but rather an expected act of espionage from the Chinese government.
Despite this, other members of the Biden administration have a slightly different perspective on the impact of this incident on US-China relations. National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby stated that recent months had seen serious efforts to reset US-China relations, including opening more channels of communication. He added that this recent incident has not helped improve the relationship, describing it as an “egregious violation of our sovereign airspace.”