Beijing’s reaction to the US shooting down the balloon has been lukewarm. International law experts may be China’s way of preparing for a future in which roles are reversed.

On January 15, Chinese Foreign Minister Qi Guan delivered a speech in Egypt.

On January 15, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang delivered a speech in Egypt.Fadel Dawod/Getty Images

  • China needs to consider what to do if the United States flies balloons into Chinese airspace, one legal expert said.

  • The US shot down what it described as a Chinese “surveillance balloon” on Saturday.

  • China’s own rhetoric could backfire later if Beijing pushes ahead. Julianne Ku told the NYT.

When Beijing calculates its full correspondence, A balloon was shot down on the southeastern US coast on SaturdayInternational law experts say they need to consider what to do if the United States starts sending balloons to China.

in a statement on SundayChina accused the Pentagon of destroying the balloon, saying the Pentagon had “clearly overreacted” and “flatly violated international practice.”

But the foreign ministry’s complaint fell short of accusing the United States of violating international law, said Julian Ku, a Hofstra University law professor who studies China’s role in international law. told the New York Times.

“Plus, they need to think about their rights in case the US starts sending balloons and drones to China,” Ku told the outlet. , would undermine any future legal arguments they might need.”

It is unclear how long China will choose to detain the balloon case.

So far, public statements under 200 characters have been modest, very brief, and very brief compared to recent diplomatic sparring with the United States.

The Chinese government claims that the unmanned balloon was the result of a civilian airship accidentally drifting over the mainland United States, stating that “the United States should handle this calmly, professionally, and in a restrained manner. ‘He said.

The closest thing to a threat was, “I reserve the right to take further action.”

On the other hand, previous reactions to perceived violations, such as then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, have been much more aggressive.

“Those who play with fire will perish with fire” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on August 2 following the news of Pelosi’s visit to China:has warned the United States to “go no further down the wrong and dangerous path.”

Beijing also responded. Conduct live-fire military exercises around Taiwanafter Pelosi said she wouldn’t be “sitting idly” if she landed in Taipei.

“We serve our enemies fine wine, but we give our enemies shotguns,” the Chinese ambassador to Sweden infamously said on the radio in 2019. he aired threats to the local government When Chinese-born Swedish political publisher and dissident Michael Gui accepts the Tucholski Prize after disappearing in Thailand in 2015.

China is worth mentioning We also have a new Foreign Minister, Qin Gang.former Ambassador to the United States, in January replaced most of the ministry’s top spokespersons Known for Beijing’s aggressive “wolf-warrior diplomacy.”

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