It’s been a particularly tense time for America in recent days. In addition to horrific events like the recent train derailment in the Ohio town of East Palestine, there was a high-profile incident involving a Chinese spy balloon. And while Joe Biden tried to reassure the nation by shooting that balloon down, this led to increased fear regarding other mysterious objects that haven’t been identified and are, in the strictest sense, UFOs.
In times of trouble like this, citizens understandably look to their leaders for guidance and reassurance. However, Vice President Kamala Harris recently said something about the Chinese spy balloon that undercut Joe Biden’s previous words and made the United States look like a laughing stock.
What did she say, though, and what has the fallout been? Keep reading to discover the answers!
Kamala’s interview blunder
Kamala’s big blunder happened during a recent interview with Politico. The interview covered a wide range of topics, but one of the big points of interest was, of course, the recent Chinese spy balloon.
During the interview, the vice president received a rather straightforward question about whether this incident was going to disrupt relations between the United States and China. In response, Harris said, “I don’t think so, no.” Further clarifying her position, she went on to say that “we seek competition, but not conflict or confrontation” when it comes to China.
Honestly, these statements alone are already a bit alarming. One would think that one nation actively spying on another would have a pretty dramatic effect! But Harris effectively doubled down, saying that “Everything that has happened in the last week and a half is, we believe, very consistent with our stated approach.”
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The significance of the weather balloons
In the last couple of weeks, more Americans have been using the term “spy balloon” than ever before. However, the vast majority of those talking about this mysterious balloon don’t understand its full significance.
For example, despite the vice president’s comments about this incident being “very consistent” with how America has approached relations with China, the appearance of the balloon is already having negative effects on international diplomacy. For example, GBH reports that Secretary of State Antony Blinken already canceled a planned trip to Beijing because of the balloon.
On top of that, nobody can really afford to dismiss getting spied on by another country, despite the reassurances of the vice president. This is certainly the perspective of Harvard Professor Mark Wu, who serves as Harvard’s director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. According to him, “We should care because none of us want to find ourselves in a war, nor do we want to find ourselves unable to solve these problems.”
The immediate backlash to her comments
It didn’t take long for many critics to pounce on the statements made by Kamala Harris. As expected, some of the most vicious attacks came from Republican politicians who consider her their enemy. Over on Twitter, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton wrote that, “VP Harris is giving the Chinese Communist Party a pass” and that “This pathetic weakness will only invite more aggression.”
Meanwhile, Florida Senator Rick Scott also took to Twitter. There, he wrote that the vice president’s statement was “an incredibly incompetent thing to say” and that “this admin’s appeasement & weak leadership are creating chaos. They need to take a stand for once.”
The great irony to Scott’s statement is that President Joe Biden had tried to position his actions regarding the balloon as a decisive action. Unfortunately, his own vice president effectively undermined him.
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How Kamala accidentally undermined Joe Biden
More than anyone else, Joe Biden understood how the presence of a Chinese spy balloon over United States territory makes America look weak. And because of this, he not only shot it down, but he made statements about America taking a no-nonsense approach to any similar future actions China may take.
As NBC News reports, Biden gave a White House speech where he declared, “Make no mistake, if any object presents a threat to the safety and security of the American people, I will take it down.” He followed this bold statement up by saying, “We’re not looking for a new Cold War, but I make no apologies,” and that “I make no apologies, and we will compete and we will responsibly manage that competition so that it doesn’t veer into conflict.”
Biden is obviously trying to walk a fine line between not setting off a major international conflict and not looking passive in the face of an aggressive foe. However, his own vice president’s words have revealed how empty Biden’s words really are. We are ultimately left with a rather upsetting question to ponder: how can we trust Biden to look out for the “safety and security of the American people” when Kamla Harris is admitting that such threats are just something we should come to expect from dealing with China?