FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEB 4, 2023
This Is Not About a Balloon
CODEPINK'S STATEMENT REGARDING SECRETARY BLINKEN POSTPONING HIS TRIP TO CHINA
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken postponed his trip to China after the discovery of a Chinese balloon in U.S. airspace. China responded to the discovery by explaining the balloon was for weather research and not intended to enter into U.S. airspace. The Pentagon has also confirmed that it is not posing a threat. Yet, U.S. politicians and the media insist on calling it a “spy balloon”. This is a recent pattern by our government. They have been hell-bent on finding any excuse to create controversy and mistrust. Instead, our leaders should be engaging in building relationships of trust, cooperation and communication.
At a time of heightened tension, we need our leaders to stay communicative and address the issue, not escalate the situation. Confusion and hostility created by the inflamed "threat" of China comes at a heavy cost to Asian Americans. As anti-Asian hate crime has soared since the beginning of the COVID-19, our politicians and the media should be more responsible in their reporting, instead of inflaming.
Secretary Blinken’s visit to China is postponed due to an accident, but the U.S. aggression towards China has been calculated. Since the trip was announced last November the United States has done the following:
In November, USS Chancellorsville sailed into the South China Sea, intentionally threatening China’s sovereignty;
In December, President Biden signed NDAA 2023 into law, which promises $10 billion in arms sale to Taiwan, challenging the joint diplomatic statement Shanghai Communique that has ensured peaceful U.S.-China relations for more than 50 years;
In early January, Congress established a new House Select Committee on China, the first committee in U.S. history created for the purpose of competition with another country;
In mid-January, the U.S. pushed Japan to deviate from its pacifist constitution and expand its military to target China, buying weapons from American arms manufacturers;
Last week, U.S. Marine Corps opened a new base in Guam, and a U.S. general mongered a war with China by 2025;
This week, U.S. military acquired access to 4 new bases in the Philippines, creeping ever closer to China’s border;
And the list goes on.
China has had to shoulder a tremendous amount of U.S. aggression to make sure diplomacy can continue. A civilian weather balloon that accidentally entered the U.S. is no reason to postpone a state visit. It is a political move that inflames the situation instead of creating the relationship necessary to keep the US and China on the terms the world needs for peace.
It was an accident that the balloon went off course, but it is within our power to ensure the US-China relations remain on-course towards peace and cooperation.