The Chinese Balloon: A Pebble in Their Shoe

Xi and Biden have the objective of reaching detente; the armed forces balloon episode is a pebble in the shoe for both leaders.

The tension generated between China and the United States by the alleged weather observation balloon shot down over the Atlantic was not accidental. It did not happen by chance.

After thorough investigation, Congress unanimously condemned the incident as a violation of international law. This, after the Pentagon clarified that a fleet of balloons operating under the aegis of the People’s Liberation Army is dedicated to collecting “sensitive” information from the skies over five continents.

The U.S. shot the balloon down, and although President Joe Biden downplayed the event, Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled his trip to Beijing. For this to happen, the West must have found something very significant.

The aborted diplomatic rapprochement was an objective the two leaders agreed on in Bali last November, when the U.S. and China finally considered it imperative to put an end to distancing and reopen and maintain lines of contact between the two countries. It is therefore necessary to assess what happened between the two powers and to measure the consequences. We are presently facing a new freeze in relations between the two titans.

In fact, there is growing speculation that Xi Jinping, the most powerful man in China since Mao Zedong, may not have known about or approved of the balloon’s dark mission. A few analysts believe this could represent the absence of complete harmony between the objectives of Chinese military forces and the ruling party, which, as we have seen, is manifestly interested in thawing the relationship with the United States.

Both Beijing and Washington have been showing clear signs of willingness to reduce the level of confrontation and to work together to achieve a global economic readjustment that would benefit the international community as a whole without renouncing their strategic ambitions.

Xi and Biden are both aiming for detente, and the balloon episode is a pebble in the shoe of both leaders.

In the opinion of the Financial Times, which closely follows Chinese economic issues, both Beijing and Washington are quite aware of the imperative of working together to initiate new energy for China’s economy. Both nations are also aware of the importance of deescalating tensions in other areas, such as Taiwan, where a conflict may loom on the horizon. This inexplicable impasse does not contribute to either of these two purposes.

Chinese hermeticism will work better now than ever before. The strongest hypothesis is that either people are questioning Xi’s domestic power, which is behind the mess , or simply that the upper echelon of the People’s Liberation

Army does not look favorably on rapprochement with the U.S.

About this publication

About Patricia Simoni 182 Articles
I began contributing to Watching America in 2009 and continue to enjoy working with its dedicated translators and editors. Latin America, where I lived and worked for over four years, is of special interest to me. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy the beauty of this rural state and traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply