Chinese Surveillance Balloon Causes Cancellation of Blinken Trip

You wouldn’t think a balloon would cause an international incident, but it depends on who sent it. A high-altitude Chinese surveillance balloon drifted over Montana into unsecured airspace. The US State Department even cancelled a planned trip for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China (which wasn’t publicized). China denies that the balloon is meant to spy on the US and called it a “civilian research airship.”

“It is unacceptable that this has occurred. After consultations with our interagency partners, as well as with Congress, we have concluded that the conditions are not right at this moment for Secretary Blinken to travel to China.” US State Department

Why is China flying a surveillance balloon over America in the first place? The State Department called the situation a blatant violation of sovereignty. China stated that the balloon veered far off course due to the wind currents. Nobody is buying it and the kerfuffle over it is reaching as high as the balloon. “Far off course” is likely why no one believes them, though the balloon appears to not be armed at least at this point. China says they “regret” the incident.

Blinken was to travel to Beijing this weekend to discuss the Russia-Ukraine war with Chinese officials and meet with President Xi, White House National Security Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said earlier. 

Top Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee demanded that Blinken confront Xi over the spy balloon during his trip, calling it an “unacceptable” violation of U.S. airspace and American sovereignty. 

Other Republicans went further, with Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., saying, “Secretary Blinken should cancel his trip to China.” 

“And President Biden must answer why he has not secured U.S. airspace,” Cotton added.  Fox

How does someone secure our airspace? In the case of a so-called Chinese research balloon, it should be no problem to snag it. Shoot it down, or shut it down, but the Defense Department has stated they have already taken measures to prevent collection of sensitive information. The balloon has been hovering in the airspace around Malstrom AFB and within drifting distance of Minot AFB in North Dakota and Warren AFB in Wyoming.


Recently a Chinese attempt to buy farmland in South Dakota for a “food mill” just 12 miles from a highly classified AFB was rejected by the government for national security reasons. China never gives up, so it behooves the US to continue to pay close attention.



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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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