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Tags: asa hutchinson | china | balloon

Asa Hutchinson to Newsmax: Send 'Strongest Message' About China's Balloon

(Newsmax/"National Report")

By    |   Friday, 03 February 2023 02:40 PM EST

The United States must send the "strongest message" to China about its balloon that is floating eastward, high above the central part of the country, even if it turns out the balloon was sent unintentionally, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told Newsmax Friday.

"This is a great concern," the Arkansas Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report." "If it is a civilian craft, then even that would cause great concern because they can do spying through civilian aircraft as well. So I think this is a very serious matter for the security of the United States."

Beijing initially would not admit the balloon was theirs — it was seen flying over locations including Montana, where one of the United States' nuclear missile silos is located, but that there was an "unintentional" breach of U.S. airspace. It also said the aircraft is civilian in nature and used for mainly meteorological purposes.

Either way, Hutchinson said that China must be strongly reminded that "this is unacceptable whether this is an accident, which is hard to believe, or if it's intentional. Then it needs to have a very firm response."

Meanwhile, the impact of China will be a major issue in the 2024 presidential race, said Hutchinson, who is mulling a run for the GOP presidential nomination.

"They're the second leading economic power," he said. "You cannot disconnect easily and completely from that, the economic connections, but at the same time whenever you're looking at our chip manufacturing, our sensitive technologies, we have to move that back from China."

Further, the United States must quit being so reliant on the Chinese supply chain, said Hutchinson. It's also unacceptable that China violates international rules by suppressing freedom in that country, including religious freedom, he said.

"They're not just a competitor, but there is a security concern as well, and so this should be an issue, and I think we need to have a strong position in reference to our security in relation to China," said Hutchinson.

The United States has a commitment to defend Taiwan, but at the same time, "we recognize a one-China policy, and that's strategic ambiguity," said Hutchinson.

In other matters, Hutchinson said he believes his successor, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was chosen to give the rebuttal to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address because she has a "great story" as being part of the first father-daughter combination of governors in American history.

"She's going to have a powerful message," he said. "It's obviously going to center upon her story, but also counterpunch as to what Biden's message is, on the insecure border, the inflationary pressures that we're under, how it's hurting Americans."

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The United States must send the "strongest message" to China about its balloon that is floating eastward, high above the central part of the country, even if it turns out the balloon was sent unintentionally, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told Newsmax Friday.
asa hutchinson, china, balloon
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2023-40-03
Friday, 03 February 2023 02:40 PM
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