During an interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff, President Biden claimed that his decision to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon after it had crossed the United States had not been a “big hit” to U.S.-China relations and laughed at the idea that shooting down the balloon had made relations “worse.”
Biden’s comments come a few days after China had suggested it would respond aggressively to the United States shooting down its balloon.
“How do you know?” Woodruff asked.
“I know, I talked to him… I talked to Xi Jinping before, our team talks to their people,” Biden said.
“During this? Since?” Woodruff asked.
“I haven’t talked to him during this… But look, I mean — ha ha ha, the idea of shooting down a balloon that’s gathering information over America, that makes relations worse?” Biden responded
“Look, I made it real clear to Xi Jinping that we’re going to compete fully with China, but we’re not looking for conflict and that has been the case so far,” Biden added.
Biden’s comments came after the Chinese government threatened to “respond further” to the United States’ use of “armed force” in shooting down their spy balloon.
“For the United States to insist on using armed force is clearly an excessive reaction that seriously violates international convention,” the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement obtained by the New York Times. “China will resolutely defend the legitimate rights and interests of the enterprise involved, and retains the right to respond further.”