Antony Blinken meets with top China diplomat who called US response to spy balloon ‘hysterical’ and ‘absurd’

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with China’s top diplomat hours after he branded the US response to the spy balloon incident as “hysterical” and “absurd.”

Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, criticised the Biden administration at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday morning.

“There are so many balloons all over the world, so is the United States going to shoot all of them down?” said Mr Wang, according to Reuters.

Hours later, the State Department confirmed that Mr Blinken had met with Mr Wang in Munich - marking the first face-to-face meeting between senior US and Chinese officials since the US shot down China’s balloon earlier this month.

The appearance of the first balloon over America caused Mr Blinken to postpone a planned visit to Beijing. It would have been the first visit by a US secretary of state to China in five years.

Following the initial shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon, three other unidentified aerial objects were shot down by US fighter jets using Sidewinder missiles in US and Canadian airspace.

Mr Wang was asked at the conference on Saturday if he would attempt to normalise China’s dialogue with the US at the event.

“We ask the US to show its sincerity and correct its mistakes, face up and resolve this incident, which has damaged Sino-U.S. relations,” he said.

“We hope the US could pursue a pragmatic and positive policy towards China, and work with China to push Sino-US relations back to the track of healthy development.”

Reuters contributed to this report.