Late Thursday, Republicans ripped into President Biden after the Pentagon disclosed the discovery of a suspected surveillance balloon believed to belong to China, that has been hovering over the United States for the last several days, while some blamed the incident on President Joe Biden’s weak foreign policy.
“How on Earth is Beijing Biden allowing a CCP military balloon to fly freely over Montana?” Republican Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona tweeted. “Biden is a feckless commander in chief.”
The announcement of the balloon discovery comes just days before Secretary of State Antony Blinked is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to GOP Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, the meeting should be scrapped because of the discovery.
“Secretary Blinken should cancel his trip to China,” tweeted Cotton. “And President Biden must answer why answer why he has not secured U.S. airspace.”
As of early Thursday evening, the State Department had made no hint that the trip would be canceled.
GOP Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee called for a strong response from the administration to the provocation from China.
“Communist China hypocritically lectures the U.S. about respect for sovereignty & territorial integrity,” tweeted Hagerty. “If it’s true that China is behind this loitering high-altitude provocation over our homeland, the Biden Admin must respond strongly & decisively.”
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy says he will demand more information from the Biden administration
“China’s brazen disregard for U.S. sovereignty is a destabilizing action that must be addressed, and President Biden cannot be silent. I am requesting a Gang of Eight briefing,” tweeted McCarthy.
The announcement by Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Ryder didn’t mention China and only discussed a “high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States.” Only a few hours after the announcement, members of the GOP were criticizing the response, or lack of it, from the Biden administration.
A Pentagon senior official who remains unnamed was left to verify that officials were “confident” that the balloon belongs to China.
A spokesperson for Speaker of the House McCarthy, Chad Gilmartin, noted the formal statement made “ZERO mentions of China.”
Gilmartin also placed the blame solidly on President Biden’s soft approach to China, noting that in 2015, Biden touted China’s rise as a “positive development” for the world.
“This week, a Chinese spy balloon was spotted flying over the United States,” tweeted Gilmartin.
Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Trump campaign in 2016, tweeted, “This wouldn’t be happening under President Trump.”