U.S. deliberate over-hype of balloon worsen tensions with China
Editor's Note: The author is Yasir Habib Khan, President of the Institute of International Relations and Media Research (IIRMR). The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
In an awful situation where global recession is haunting and inflation is an order of the day, the Biden administration has plunged into its own created "Balloon Conspiracy" establishing the fact that America is becoming a terminal patient of "China-Specific Phobia".
It was just a balloon but was mischievously projected as the worst threat to the world even more than the Russia-Ukraine conflict and other complex economic and climatic quagmires in the world.
Everybody can smell the rat in the issue as China has been asking America to share details of investigations being carried out by America to let better sense prevail but the US state department has turned non-responsive.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China repeatedly made it clear that the entry of a Chinese civilian unmanned airship, which is for meteorological purposes, into U.S. airspace was due to force majeure and totally an accident. However, the day the balloon was spotted, Washington hyped it to the extent of hysteria and now it has been made a hilariously daunting challenge.
It is believed that despite the fact that Pentagon has attempted to misdeem the balloon as a spying object flown by China, sensible American people did not buy this idea. Objecting the "Balloon Conspiracy", they questioned the authenticity of the events.
According to the story published on "The New Yorker" on February 18, buzzing points were raised. They were "why we didn't track them earlier”, “why we didn't know about them earlier”, and so forth.
Still, there are no satisfactory answers to these US public's queries asking if the balloon was lofted for surveillance purpose and entered in the US air territory and why it was not detected since its launch.. It kept drifting days and became part of discussion of public domain when a civilian sighted it.
Simultaneously, in order to strike a balance between myth and reality, the US administration said that analysts are now examining the possibility that China didn't intend to penetrate the American heartland with its airborne alleged surveillance device. "The balloon floated over Alaska's Aleutian Islands thousands of miles away from Guam, then drifted over Canada, where it encountered strong winds that appear to have pushed the balloon south into the continental United States, the officials said as quoted by US daily newspaper.
A defense and military expert Adnan Daniyal said that Balloon hype-up is another manifestation of America's fear of China, holding a wrong opinion that China will replace the US as super power. "Sleepless nights always cause nightmares," he added.
Post-Cold war syndrome, he said, has taken a heavy toll on the minds and hearts of the US administration. "Once America was the sole architect of the world order. Later China's dominance as economic engine of the world allowing all to grow together with no string attached has stirred a sense of fear among the US and its allies," he added.
"Recently fear has deepened more. It started from Covid-Origin traceability phenomenon to Taiwan Issue, from NATO-backed Ukraine War to Human Rights issues, from decupling mindset to tech war and top of them the fifth generation warfare to demonize China has touched a new low in bogus Balloon Conspiracy," he claimed.
Finally, as a part of efforts to descalate US-China tension, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with China's top diplomat, Wang Yi on February 18 in Munich, Germany at Munich Security Conference.
The US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price released a statement confirming the two diplomats "met on the margins" of the Munich meeting which represents the first in-person meeting between China and the U.S. since the balloon was shot down. "The Secretary underscored the importance of maintaining diplomatic dialogue and open lines of communication at all times," Price said.
It's too soon to tell how the meeting will impact relations between the U.S. and China.