China has rejected a Pentagon request for a secure call between the two countries’ defense ministers after a balloon was shot down over United States air space.
China declines US defence call after balloon shot down
China has declined a request for a phone call between United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe after Washington brought down a Chinese spy balloon, the Pentagon says.
A US Air Force fighter jet shot down the balloon off the South Carolina coast on Saturday, a week after it first entered US airspace and triggered a dramatic – and public – spying saga that worsened Sino-US relations.
The Pentagon submitted the request for a secure call on Saturday after the balloon came down, Brigadier General Pat Ryder said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, the PRC (China) has declined our request. Our commitment to open lines of communication will continue,” Ryder said.