TAIPEI — In response to the downing of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off the American East Coast, China announced on Wednesday that it would take action against American entities.
The spokesperson for the foreign ministry, Wang Wenbin, did not provide any specifics or mention the measures’ intended targets during a daily briefing.
China claims the balloon was an unmanned weather airship that was accidentally blown off course, and it accuses the United States of overreacting by shooting a missile from an F-22 fighter plane at it in an attempt to bring it down.
Since the balloon was brought down on February 4, the US has imposed sanctions on six Chinese organizations it claims are connected to Beijing’s aerospace initiatives.
Following this, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution denouncing China for its “brazen infringement” of American sovereignty and its attempts to “deceive the world community by misleading assertions about its intelligence collection programs.”
Additionally, Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a trip to Beijing that many had hoped would mend relations that have deteriorated due to disagreements over trade, human rights, Taiwan, and China’s South China Sea claim.
China has yet to identify the agency or business that was in charge, even though it disputes the balloon was a military tool.
After first expressing remorse that the balloon had entered American airspace, China has now accused the United States of spying on it and threatened to retaliate.
At the briefing on Wednesday, Wang stated that China “strongly opposes this and will take countermeasures following the law against the relevant U.S. enterprises that harm China’s sovereignty and security.”
China will “resolutely preserve national sovereignty and its lawful rights and interests,” Wang added.
Also on Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel stated that Beijing’s aggressive approach was evidenced by the entrance of the Chinese balloon.
Emanuel, a former mayor of Chicago, brought up China’s recent use of a military-grade laser to target a Philippine coast guard patrol vessel, its use of aircraft to harass American aircraft, and its installation of unauthorized police stations in the United States, Ireland, and other nations.
Emanuel declared, “The balloon is not an isolated incident to me.”
China must operate under some fundamental precepts if it hopes to be respected by the international world. That example, you shouldn’t establish police stations abroad in nations where you are uninformed of the legal framework, acting as though your laws are universal.
When alluding to China’s outreach to nations in the Asia-Pacific area, Emanuel stated, “This is not exactly the qualities and characteristics of the good neighbor policy.”
At least three flying objects that have been seen in Japanese airspace since 2019 are most likely Chinese spy balloons, according to the defense ministry of Japan on Tuesday. It claimed to have objected and asked Beijing for an explanation.
Senior MPs in the ruling party in Japan indicated on Wednesday that they were thinking about extending the Self-Defense Force statute to cover foreign balloons that violate Japanese airspace.
The Philippines claims that a Chinese ship fired a laser at the coast guard
Philippines’ MANILA (AP) — In the disputed South China Sea, the Philippines on Monday accused a Chinese coast guard ship of firing a military-grade laser at a Philippine coast guard vessel, briefly blinding several of its crew in what Manila called a “blatant” infringement of Manila’s sovereign rights.
The Chinese ship also sailed dangerously close, at a distance of 137 meters (449 feet), on February 6 to prevent the Philippine patrol boat BRP Malapascua from getting too close to Second Thomas Shoal, an underwater reef that has been held by Philippine soldiers.
In 2022 alone, the Philippines lodged around 200 diplomatic protests against China’s aggressive behavior in the disputed waters.
China conflicts with other claimants because it practically completely claims the South China Sea. Tensions have remained despite the former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte and his successor, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in January in Beijing, making the Philippines and the United States strengthen their military cooperation.
Commodore Armand Balilo, a spokesman for the Philippine coast guard, told The Associated Press that although the Chinese coast guard had previously attempted to obstruct Philippine coast guard ships in the disputed waters, this was the first occasion it used lasers and physically hurt Filipino personnel.
According to the Philippine statement, “The Chinese ship twice shone the green laser light toward the BRP Malapascua, temporarily blinding her personnel at the bridge.”
A Chinese coast guard ship can be seen from a distance cutting across the path of a Philippine vessel in a video released by the coast guard in Manila. Later, the Chinese spacecraft emits a green laser-like light.
The Philippine military said it’s time for China to refrain its personnel from conducting “any aggressive act that may imperil the lives of people.” The Philippine military chief termed the Chinese coast guard’s move “offensive and risky,” according to spokesman Col. Medel Aguilar.
A Philippine coast guard vessel entered Chinese seas without authorization on February 6, according to a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, Wang Wenbin. Without going into further detail or addressing the use of laser, he said that Chinese coast guard vessels acted “professionally and with restraint at the site in compliance with China’s law and international law.”
Wang responded to a question at a daily media briefing by saying, “We hope the Philippines will sincerely respect China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea and avoid any actions that may lead to the expansion of the dispute and complication of the situation. “In this sense, China and the Philippines continue to communicate through diplomatic channels.”
The BRP Sierra Madre, a Philippine naval sentry ship that has been marooned on Second Thomas Shoal since 1999, was receiving supplies and crew members when the Philippine vessel was ordered to leave the region, according to the coast guard.
According to the coast guard, who used the term the Philippines has given the area of water near its western coast, “the deliberate blocking of the Philippine government ships to deliver food and supplies to our military personnel on board the BRP Sierra Madre is a blatant disregard for, and a clear violation of, Philippine sovereign rights in this part of the West Philippine Sea.”
It was unclear right away whether the mishap affected the Philippine resupply operation or not.
The Chinese coast guard also barred Philippine ships escorting a supply vessel from approaching Second Thomas Shoal in August, the coast guard said. The coast guard reported that at the moment, one of the two Chinese ships, which was accompanied by two Chinese civilian vessels, took off the cover of its 70mm gun. It added that it would not be intimidated by China’s aggression in defending Philippine sovereignty in the disputed sea.
Aside from China and the Philippines, other nations with overlapping claims in the bustling, resource-rich waterway through which much of the world’s trade and oil pass include Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei.
Beijing has cautioned Washington to cease intervening in what it claims is a strictly Asian conflict, even though the United States has deployed the military to monitor the waters to promote freedom of navigation and overflight.
As tensions with Beijing over the shooting down of a suspected Chinese spy balloon rose over the weekend, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps conducted joint exercises in the South China Sea. More than 30 years after closing its sizable bases there and strengthening an arc of military alliances in Asia, the U.S. has been taking moves to reestablish its military might in the Philippines.