Top diplomats from Washington and Beijing met for the first time since the Chinese high-altitude balloon allegedly spy was downed on Feb. The parties warned each other with harsh words.
From China to the USA: Are you going to shoot all the balloons?
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, within the framework of the Munich Security Conference. In this first meeting after the Balloon crisis , Blinken conveyed the US reaction to his Chinese counterpart and warned against similar actions. Blinken urged “no repetition of irresponsible behavior”, stating that the violation was unacceptable. The US minister’s previously planned trip to China was canceled due to the balloon incident.
‘REACTION HYSTERIC AND ABSOLUTELY’
The Chinese minister, on the other hand, described the US reaction to this event as “hysterical and absurd”, saying that the use of force harmed bilateral relations. Speaking just before the meeting, the Chinese minister said, “Many countries have many balloons in the sky. Would you like to shoot each one of them one by one?” he asked. Vang accused the US of trying to divert attention from its internal problems.
Meanwhile, Canadian police have given up searching for the debris of an unidentified celestial object that a US jet downed in the Yukon region on February 11. It was stated that the snowfall made it difficult for the search, which was supported by the army as well as the local communities. Prior to this, the United States had announced that the search for objects dropped off the coast of Alaska on February 10 and on Lake Huron on February 12 had ended unsuccessfully. So far, only the balloon, which was dropped over the Atlantic Ocean on February 4 and was confirmed to belong to China, has been taken out of the water and examined.
THE INVOICE OF DOWNLOADS IS BROKEN
AMERICAN warplanes shot down four objects in the skies of The USA And Canada Between February 4-12. The purpose and affiliation of the objects after the first high-altitude balloon, which was confirmed to belong to China, is still unclear . The cost of these relatively simple and inexpensive objects to Washington is high. Air-to-air AIM-9X missiles were used to shoot down all four balloons. The cost of each missile is 472 thousand Dollars. When the first missile missed its target in the fourth balloon, it was necessary to send the second one. Only these 5 missiles cost US taxpayers 2 million 360 thousand dollars (approximately 45 million TL). According to the US Department of Defense data, the hourly operational cost of the F-22 jets used in the first three interventions is $33,500. For the F-16 used in the fourth incident, this figure is at the level of 8000 dollars. ‘IMPORTANT POLITICAL COST’
Considering that two F-22s were lifted for the first event, the Chinese balloon, the total flight cost of the aircraft is at least 142 thousand dollars (approximately 2.5 million TL). The cost of closing the airspace with fuel tankers and observation planes that support the response is added to the bill. Speaking to Hürriyet, defense and security expert from Columbia University, Dr. Stephen Biddle said the political cost of dropping these objects or not is more important. “Balloons can’t do more than the satellites already do,” said Biddle, adding that since it was not that important militarily, it was slow to intervene in the first balloon. However, after a point, when the issue turned into a political discussion rather than a military issue, intervention was deemed necessary.