(breitbart) – Vice President Kamala Harris told Politico during an interview Tuesday the U.S. military downing a suspected Chinese spy balloon should not impact diplomatic relations with communist China.
“I don’t think so, no,” she told the outlet while arguing the Biden administration seeks “competition” with Beijing and “not conflict or confrontation.”
The vice president also noted she made similar comments to the Chinese communist dictator Xi Jinping in November when they met at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok. “Everything that has happened in the last week and a half is, we believe, very consistent with our stated approach,” she said.
Tensions between China and the U.S. appeared to grow after the U.S. military shot down a Chinese vessel believed to be surveillance aircraft in early February over the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolina coast.
Last Thursday, a senior State Department official said that newly declassified intelligence indicated that the equipment on the balloon was “inconsistent” with what would be aboard a weather balloon since it had “multiple antennas to include an array likely capable of collecting and geo-locating communications.”
The same person also claimed that the balloon was “part of a PRC (People’s Republic of China) fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations” with a manufacturer tied to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and that the U.S. “will also explore taking action against PRC entities linked to the PLA that supported the balloon’s incursion into U.S. airspace.”
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution — on a 419-0 margin — “condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s use of a high-altitude surveillance balloon over United States territory” and labeled the situation “a brazen violation of United States sovereignty.”
Politico noted the interview with Harris happened roughly 24 hours before she was scheduled to leave the U.S. to lead a delegation to the Munich Security Conference, where China’s top diplomat would also be in attendance. Harris said the two do not have any scheduled meetings.