Senate Formally Condemns ‘Invasion’ of US by Chinese Spy Balloon

Senate Formally Condemns ‘Invasion’ of US by Chinese Spy Balloon
The U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington on Jan. 23, 2023. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
Andrew Thornebrooke

The U.S. Senate has approved two resolutions unanimously on Feb. 15 that formally condemn the Chinese communist regime for its illegal incursion into U.S. airspace with a spy balloon and also call for transparency from the Biden administration about the incident.

The first resolution “condemns the Chinese Communist Party’s [CCP] invasion of United States airspace to conduct surveillance” on American citizens and military bases. It also calls on President Joe Biden to “be transparent with the American people and Congress regarding this latest spying incident and all other attempts by the Chinese Communist Party to conduct surveillance on United States citizens, territory, and assets.”

The second measure condemns the incursion as a “brazen violation of United States sovereignty.”

The language closely mirrors that of a House resolution, that was approved on Feb. 9 by a unanimous vote in Congress.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s use of a high-altitude surveillance balloon over United States territory as a brazen violation of United States sovereignty,” that resolution said.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s intelligence collection directed against the United States poses a threat to United States interests and security.”

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), whose state was among those that the Chinese spy balloon traversed, hailed the bipartisan resolutions for their clarity in calling out the CCP and its aggression abroad.

“Montanans expect their elected leaders to work across party lines to defend our national security, and I’m proud to have led this unified effort to rebuke China’s unacceptable provocation,” Tester said in a tweet.
Tester, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Defense, said during a hearing earlier this month that it wasn’t surprising the CCP invaded U.S. territory, given the fact that the military and two administrations hadn’t responded to four previous incursions.

“It should not have been a surprise that China did this because nothing ... has happened before to them for these overflights,” Tester said.

Beijing accused Congress of harming China’s sovereignty with “purely malicious hype,” saying that the spy balloon was a civilian airship and shouldn’t have been shot down even though it flew across the entirety of the continental United States.
Likewise, the Chinese foreign ministry said it will take “countermeasures” against U.S. entities somehow related to the downing of the balloon, and the regime announced on Feb. 16 that it issued sanctions against U.S. defense manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.
The United States has similarly sanctioned six Chinese entities that it claims are related to China’s spy balloon program, which officials say has targeted 40 nations on five continents for covert intelligence collection.
Andrew Thornebrooke is a national security correspondent for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.
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