You thought the story of the Chinese supposedly peaceful balloon that flew into American skies and was shot down there was over? It’s just beginning. What is going on in the US about this is better not to know. For example, there is an “expert assessment” that Chinese balloons could destroy up to 90 per cent of the American population – yes, yes, that`s right. They can, after all, be fitted with all sorts of missiles and more
Photo from official US Navy Twitter page
The general scheme of what is happening is familiar: Republicans versus Democrats. The former use the image of sinister China to depict the latter as useless managers. The Democrats have made whistles about “Russian meddling” before, just that the object of fear and hatred is different this time.
But amidst the yelling and screaming there was something that came out of the mouths of seemingly serious people. Pentagon and National Security Council officials are on record explaining that meteorology has nothing to do with it, Chinese spy balloons have been flying over five continents for years, so “it’s not just about the US. And the Americans are about to hold a meeting with allies this coming Wednesday about a new and creepy threat. Forty countries have already been warned.
Why, it seems, would Beijing want to use what is essentially eighteenth-century technology when it has something far more modern? Here is an episode that has nothing to do with the U.S. scandal at all. Here is Turkey with its earthquake, the consequences of which are being dealt with not only by Russia but also by China and other countries. And among the reports on the subject there was a glimpse: Chinese satellites instantly captured the devastation despite cloud cover at the time. The fact is that the Changsha-based Spacety Co Ltd used special radar that can also see through clouds to take pictures. Though what kind of equipment was on the balloon is still unclear.
But irrespective of its military or non-military purpose the whole story reminded about who is the technological leader of the world nowadays. Certainly not the USA – America is again discovering this and convulsing. At the same time it is being investigated what “foreign instruments” the Pentagon is talking about were on the balloon.
Many in the world are closely watching what is going on. In particular, there is the Lowy Institute in Australia, which publishes an annual set of indices on the subject of who is strongest in the Asia-Pacific region and by what parameters. And purely by chance another report has come out now, against the backdrop of the ballooning incident. And a document that wasn’t much noticed before is now being quoted everywhere.
It says: The United States is still number one in the Asia-Pacific on a composite of factors, but China has almost caught up with America – and in any case, the era when no one challenged US leadership in these parts is over. China’s economic index in the region is now 98.3, compared with 53.7 for the United States. Its diplomatic index (i.e. political influence) is 91.5 and 89.3, respectively. Though on the military side it is still 72.5 and 80.7.
Once again: there is just a coincidence in the timing, the Australian calculations were done before it turned out that some balloon was driving the former superpower into… Here we must give the floor to one of the most loyal Democrat columnists of The Washington Post. He says: shame on us, we’re being hysterical and paranoid.
And his Chinese colleague explains: Americans have been told for decades that they can do whatever they want in the world, because they are perfectly safe from anything on their soil. And suddenly everybody sees that this is not the case.
Yep, that’s the dry residue of this ridiculous story so far – the menacing American snarl that turns into a desperate cry of “we’ve got it bad”.
Dmitry Kosyrev, RIA Novosti
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