Munich [Germany], February 18 (ANI): China on Saturday lambasted the US for claiming its balloons as surveillance objects and termed it as "hysterical and absurd".
Addressing a gathering of world leaders at the Munich Security Conference, China's top diplomat Wang Yi alleged the US of trying to "smear" the Asian giant while it itself was implementing policies that ran counter to its paradigms such as free trade.
Washington, he said, had the wrong view of China as a serious geopolitical challenge and a threat to the United States. "This is a misguided perception of China and with this perception, the United States is using all of its means to smear and clamp down China, and is co-opting other countries to do the same," he said.
He said that US President Joe Biden's administration has a "misguided" perception of Beijing.
"There are many balloons from many countries in the sky. Do you want to down each and every one of them?" said Wang.
He also urged the US "not to do such preposterous things simply to divert attention from its own domestic problems."Notably, the US shot down the giant balloon, which China claimed to be a civilian airship used for research mainly meteorological, on February 4 after it hovered over the country for a week.
Beijing denies it uses spy balloons and says the craft was for weather research. Subsequently, it accused Washington of sending its own espionage balloons over its territory, which the US denied.
The spate had led US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a rare visit to China abruptly.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration imposed new sanctions on China, targeting the country's several companies for supporting Beijing's military modernization efforts, reported GlobalSecurity.org.
The US Commerce Department on Friday said that it added five Chinese companies and one research institute connected to Beijing's aerospace programs including airships and balloons to an export blacklist.
The Commerce Department said the six entities supported "China's military modernization efforts, specifically the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) aerospace programs including airships and balloons."The six companies include Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology Co; China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute; and Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology Co.
The other three are Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co.; Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology Co.; along with Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co. (ANI)