China vows to take countermeasures after US unveils blacklist

By MO JINGXI (China Daily) 09:16, February 17, 2023

China said on Wednesday it will take countermeasures in accordance with the law against United States entities that have undermined its sovereignty and security, after Washington blacklisted six Chinese companies and institutions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin announced the decision at a regular news briefing in Beijing, saying that China will resolutely safeguard its national sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests.

After an unmanned Chinese civilian airship accidentally entered US airspace earlier this month, China has repeatedly explained that it was purely an unintended, unexpected and isolated event.

"However, the US has escalated the situation by using force in apparent overreaction to the incident and even used it as a pretext to illegally sanction Chinese companies and institutions. China is strongly opposed to this," Wang said.

According to the spokesman, while the US cited the entry of the Chinese airship as a violation of its sovereignty, it said nothing about the more than 10 overflights of its own high-altitude balloons in China without permission, including in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and the Tibet autonomous region.

However, the US government sought to deny that these flights took place. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby claimed on Monday that there were no US surveillance aircraft in Chinese airspace.

Calling Washington's reaction "irresponsible", Wang said that the US needs to explain to China and the international community about its behavior by conducting serious investigations and verifications.

He urged Washington to stop smearing and attacking China and stop misleading the US public and the world.

Wang said that US officials have continued to hype up the situation and have described the Chinese airship as a threat, but remained silent about domestic incidents such as the toxic chemical leak caused by a recent train derailment in Ohio.

"We cannot help but ask who is actually trying to deflect people's attention by overreacting to the Chinese airship. I believe the answer is clear to all of us," he said.

The spokesman also hit back at the Japanese government's groundless accusations against China regarding objects that flew over Japan's airspace in recent years.

"As a responsible country, China strictly adheres to international law and respects all countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity. Without conclusive evidence, Japan is making up stories to smear and attack China. We are firmly opposed to this," Wang said.

Japan should be objective and refrain from following the US in hyping up the incident, he added.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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