Tags: joe biden | xi jinping | china | spy balloon

Biden Says He Will Speak With China's Xi About Spy Balloon

By    |   Thursday, 16 February 2023 10:32 PM EST

President Joe Biden said Thursday he soon will be speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding the spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4.

"I expect to be speaking with President Xi, and I hope we have a — we are going to get to the bottom of this," Biden said in his first public remarks since the Chinese balloon and three other unidentified high-altitude objects were shot down over U.S. and Canadian airspace. "But I make no apologies for taking down that balloon."

China maintains the balloon was a stray weather research craft that drifted off course. It first entered U.S. airspace south of Alaska on Jan. 28 and crossed north of the Aleutian Islands and over the state's mainland. The balloon drifted into Canadian airspace and then back into U.S. airspace on Jan. 31 over Idaho and Montana before going on a southeastern track across the U.S. Biden said he wanted the balloon shot down, but the military advised him against it, fearing civilian casualties from debris.

Biden said the incident will not thwart diplomatic relations between the countries.

"We'll continue to engage with China, as we have throughout the past two weeks," Biden said. "As I've said since the beginning of my administration, we seek competition, not conflict, with China. We're not looking for a new Cold War."

Biden did not say when a meeting with Xi would take place.

"I think the last thing that Xi wants is to fundamentally rip the relationship with the United States and with me," Biden said during an interview with NBC News after his remarks.

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President Joe Biden said Thursday he soon will be speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding the spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4.
joe biden, xi jinping, china, spy balloon
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2023-32-16
Thursday, 16 February 2023 10:32 PM
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