Who’s Afraid of a Weather Balloon?

This is how the world stage of the rivalry of the 21st century looks like and you are all welcome to it.

If this weren’t so serious, it would most probably be hilarious to see the two superpowers enter a serious confrontation over a balloon. China claims it is but a meteorological balloon but the USA claims quite to the contrary that it is certainly ‘a spy balloon’. This seems to have caused and will continue to cause rather severe consequences since the offending balloon in question had floated over America for a week. Apparently, it flew over strategically sensitive points and most importantly above the intercontinental ballistic missiles base. The U.S. decided not to shoot it down immediately, which is the decision which comes across as odd even to a layperson, with the USA deeming itself as ironclad power not to be disputed but at this point the U.S. political elite and general public seem to have got scared witless by a simple weather balloon. If it were so dangerous, why wait for so long to shoot it down?

This version of the story seems to be elusive enough but with the serious consequences to ensue, one of which is the cancellation of the U.S. State Secretary Blinken’s official visit to Beijing. This cancellation goes on rubbing salt into an already tarnished image of the USA and for the further development of the U.S.-China relations. Regardless of a cavalcade of comments from the U.S. mainstream media and the Pentagon itself, some most serious analysts from China conclude that what this balloon business means is that the U.S. should finally fathom that it is up against China the superpower. They fail to get used to the idea that what another superpower does is exactly what the U.S. does and has been doing for such a long time in their political history. Balloons, satellites, false flags, Washington spins of all sorts.

We have all heard the U.S. military generals in the past few days having made bold statements that the impending war between the U.S. and China over Taiwan cannot be avoided. One general even made a brave statement that this war has already been pencilled in for 2025. He even circulated an official warning for both sides to brace themselves for the war; which may possibly be misconstrued as a publicity stunt to spin the attention of the U.S. taxpayers away from the real issue but it may be a genuine threat as well. That commentator, with no political proclivities towards the official China at all, claims that it is only logical to investigate whether the U.S. is preparing for this future war. Any super power would resort to investigations and surveillance tactics, provided that they have such highly advanced technical capabilities at their disposal.

The Chinese media have placed an important emphasis on the fact that the U.S. paranoia has instigated a new round of anti-Chinese sentiments among their general public by using a simple weather balloon as a false flag. This overly dramatic U.S. political hysteria has turned into yet another Hollywood blockbuster-type political theatrical performance.. This is how the world stage of the rivalry of the 21st century looks like and you are all welcome to it.

Regrettably, the U.S. general public is painfully unaware of the real hidden agenda here. This U.S.-Chinese rivalry has been evident for decades now. The director of the meteorological office has since resigned over this apparent balloon scandal. He claimed that the whole issue was unintentional. Yet, they deemed the response by Washington as too harsh and inappropriate. Even a military plane was deployed by the U.S. to shoot the hapless balloon down. Yet, they go on to add that they reserve their right to apply necessary counter measures. It is yet unclear whether the U.S. will apply systematic, immediate measures or unsystematic ones in a most random fashion.

If one shoves the U.S. political propaganda aside, what the U.S. views as political rivalry is just in effect a huge effort made by other countries to not be heavily dependent on the USA. They do not wish to threaten nor harm the U.S. but to just defend their own position in that each country should develop in line with their own intrinsic potential and not to be limited nor restrained by other ominously threatening super powers, which is most often the U.S. pressuring them into submission. They just want to protect themselves from the damage done by the U.S. economically, financially, culturally, politically and surely militarily.

This newly emerging world order and geopolitical architecture, which have developed outside of the USA’s iron and steadfast grip, is mirrored in this far too harsh response by China to the whole balloon affair. Yet, the USA appears to be inventing a new batch of sanctions against China on a regular daily basis even if that strategy shatters their own political and financial interests. They also continually strong-arm other countries to terminate their cooperation with China. A new false flag for them to add fuel to political fire straight into this cul-de-sac of political confusion in international relations. With all this desperate and oft farcical pursuit of the U.S. and the Collective West so as to continue trying to detect possible cracks and fault lines in the societal fabric of other countries, be it small or big, one should be under no illusion that this is the same type of politics with differing range of tactics applied.

The Chinese denied immediately afterwards that the (offending) weather balloon was the reason for canceling the official visit by Antony Blinken but the most chaotic internal discord and division in the USA with the Democrats and the Republicans at each others’ political throats is to blame and the pressure to attack China with the most powerful weapons both by way of media hate machines and militarily. Though, China had a lot more serious reasons to cancel this official visit by Blinken. Only a few days ago the Philippines allowed for four more U.S. military bases apart from the current five bases present there. The U.S. mainstream media claim triumphantly that in this way the USA has encircled the military loop around China via Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Australia. Blinken was supposed to come and visit China to negotiate in good faith and bring peace, whereas ironically the USA boasts of closing in a strong military loop around it.

A few days earlier, Lloyd Ostin, U.S. Secretary of Defense, was in South Korea in order to arrange installing new weapons there, because they allege that the threat of China is imminent. A few days before that, Jens Stoltenberg visited Japan and South Korea to boost Asia ties too. What on Earth was he doing in the Far East? Some sources claim that he was there to urge them to assist NATO in delivering weapons for Ukraine. The Chinese media write about this visit with somewhat humorous scorn. Has NATO turned into NAPTO now by any chance? (N.B. the letter P stands for the Pacific region). Is China supposed to view these maneuvers as benign gestures right before a supposedly important official visit by Blinken?

To say that Xi Jinping should have a plethora of reasons to at least bear a grudge would be an understatement. The USA seems to be opening the Chinese front at an accelerated speed, even though it has already got stuck in the quicksand of the NATO proxy war in Ukraine. Henry Kissinger warned that they should not open two huge fronts against both Russia and China simultaneously but the age of rational, well balanced hostilities seems to be behind us. During the time when Kissinger was much more politically prominent, it used to be ‘sovereignty-led imperialism’. But under the threatening pressure by the USA ever since 2014, mercifully ever closer cooperation between China and Russia have emerged. A new set of international organizations such as ASEAN, BRICS, SCO etc seem to have seen through this sinister power game played by the USA to want to restrain and destroy all its opponents one by one. So the newly emerging organizations have decided to forge new integrations and strong bonds among each other, slowly ousting the USA.

Lest we forget, the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Ma Zhaoxu was in Moscow only recently in order to continue and further improve Russia-China cooperation. There are some speculations that this may well be the preparatory pathway for Xi Jinping to come and visit Moscow this forthcoming spring. Moscow has announced it already but it is unlike Beijing to announce official visits this early. Given that the headlines in the Chinese mainstream media suggest that they are well aware of the U.S. off putting hegemonistic imperialism, the Chinese are calling on the U.S. to stop their blinded obsession with restraining China because the polarized tribal thinking in the blocs in conflict is a road to nowhere.

At least in between the official Russia and China there are no sorry sagas over a weather balloon.

By Natasha Wright
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

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