President Joe Biden’s administration has come under considerable scrutiny regarding its handling of the Chinese spy balloon and its wider foreign policy.
The administration’s critics argue that the delay in shooting down the balloon is part of a wider pattern of weakness when it comes to confronting Beijing.
This has led to considerable concern about the president’s handling of the potential threat of communist China.
Republicans in Congress have been sharply critical of the president’s handling of the balloon and the rising power of China. In particular, the officials question why it took so long to shoot down the balloon, especially as it transited the continental United States.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) described the Biden Administration’s efforts as “very weak.”
It's ridiculous we're debating whether China can send airships over the U.S.
The Chinese Communists laughed at America while Joe Biden let the Chinese spy balloon float across America. pic.twitter.com/aRlWziD9gW
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 10, 2023
Surprisingly, even some Democrats joined with GOP lawmakers to condemn the Biden Administration’s handling of the balloon transit.
This week the House considered a Republican-introduced resolution that condemned China for a “brazen violation” of American sovereignty and received help from an unlikely source. Each Democrat that spoke during the debate supported the resolution.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee sharply criticized China’s spy mission.
An even stronger comment pointed at the Biden Administration came from Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), who said that the Chinese efforts were “the fruit of decades of China successfully pushing us around and getting away with murder,” he said.
The Chinese spy balloon is one of several demonstrations of the growth of Chinese power. Depending on the measurement of national economic growth, China is approaching America’s long-dominant position.
Beijing is also sharply increasing its military spending. The country’s 2022 defense budget jumped 7.1% over the previous years.
This also marked two years in a row of major increases. Compared to its earlier spending, China has considerably upped the ante. Current defense spending is almost four times larger than it was in 2008. China’s total defense spending is the second largest in the world and is about one-third of that of the United States.
China’s efforts have led to significant unity between the two parties and a major resolution against the country’s rising power and ambition.