In an unnerving development, the Wall Street Journal reported this week that a Chinese spy balloon was observed over American nuclear silos.
According to the Journal, China’s reconnaissance balloon was first observed over Montana on Wednesday by civilians in a commercial airliner.
Biden administration opted not to shoot down Chinese balloon
The newspaper noted that Montana is home to Malmstrom Air Force Base where the United States maintains some 150 nuclear-armed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Although the initially dispatched Air Force F-22 fighters to confront the balloon, the Biden administration subsequently decided not to shoot it down.
That decision has been met with sharp criticism from conservatives, including Human Events senior editor and former Navy intelligence officer Jack Posobiec.
“Every single second that it hangs there is a reminder that we are owned by the Chinese Communist Party” pic.twitter.com/tGMuFNkdSG
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 3, 2023
Republican congressman to White House: “Take the shot”
“That balloon should have been blown sky high the minute it crossed U.S. airspace,” Posobiec said during an interview on Thursday with podcaster Tim Pool.
“And every single second that it hangs there is another reminder of just how owned politicians, our system, our businesses are by the Chinese Communist Party,” he complained.
Posobiec is not alone in calling for the balloon to be shot down, as former Navy SEAL and Montana Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke made a similar demand, tweeting, “Take the shot.”
Shoot. It. Down.
The Chinese spy balloon is clear provocation. In Montana we do not bow. We shoot it down.
Take the shot.
— Ryan Zinke (@RyanZinke) February 3, 2023
Meanwhile, Zinke’s fellow Montana Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale told Fox News, “It’s unacceptable to allow communist China to invade our airspace — this is another clear example of Chinese aggression.”
Balloon incursion comes ahead of secretary of state’s planned trip to China
“President Biden must start putting the American people first and recognize that China is a threat to our freedom, values, and way of life,” Rosendale went on to add.
The Journal noted that the balloon’s arrival came just before Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to visit Beijing. The State Department “declined to say whether it would call off Mr. Blinken’s trip.”
The paper cited an unnamed U.S. official as stating that the State Department quickly summoned Xu Xueyuan, who serves as Chinese chargé d’affaires in Washington, for “a very clear and stark message.”