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China’s balloon ignites the debate on international law – JURIST

China’s balloon ignites the debate on international law – JURIST


The Chinese balloon that floated over US airspace last week before being shot down by a US military aircraft on Saturday has raised questions of international law on both the US and Chinese sides. The US claims the balloon was a spy balloon, while China claims it was a civilian scientific research balloon that had gone astray.

On Friday US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken canceled a planned trip to Beijing. Speaking in one press conferenceblinken said:

It is very important to note that the presence of this observation balloon over the United States, in our skies, is a clear violation of our sovereignty, a clear violation of international law, and clearly unacceptable, and we have made that clear to China . Any country that has its airspace violated in this way I think would respond similarly and I can imagine what the reaction would be in China if they were on the other side.

Blinken’s statement that the presence of the balloon violates international law was also repeated by White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierrewho said, “it is a clear violation of our sovereignty as well as international law and it is unacceptable for this to happen”. The press secretary of the Pentagon, Brig. General Pat Ryder said, “we know the balloon violated US airspace and international law.”

While Chinese officials have not gone so far as to accuse the US of violating international law by shooting down the balloon, they have accused the US of overreacting. In one official answer On Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Under such circumstances, the US insists on the use of force, clearly reacting and grossly violating international practice. China will resolutely protect the rights and legitimate interests of relevant companies, reserving the right to make further necessary responses.”

On Monday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mao Ning reiterated this position:

China is a responsible country that strictly abides by international law and respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries. History has proven that it is the United States that often violates international law and violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries. We have already informed you that this is a completely accidental event caused by force majeure. It is an unacceptable and irresponsible act for the US to deliberately advertise and even attack with force.

It remains to be seen how this incident will affect strained US-China relations.




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