NEW: China Turned Down Sec Def's Request for Secure Call With Defense Minister After Balloon Shot Down

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Last week, while a Chinese spy balloon was floating across the continental United States, Pentagon and White House spokespeople assured the populace that discussions between the US and China on the issue were taking place on many levels, and that they were working hard to handle the situation. Most people believed that the way to handle the situation was to immediately terminate the threat without  waiting for it to traverse the continent and then sinking the electronics in 50 feet of water, and that anything less signaled weakness to the CCP regime.


It look as though the CCP regime indeed interpreted the US military’s action (or lack thereof) as weakness. Tuesday afternoon the Pentagon announced that after the balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, China turned down a request for a secure call between Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and China’s Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe.

The full statement reads:

On Saturday, 4 February, immediately after taking action to down the PRC balloon, the DOD submitted a request for a secure call between Secretary Austin and PRC Minster of National Defense Wei Fenghe. We believe in the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the United States and the PRC in order to responsibly manage the relationship. Lines between our militaries are particularly important in moments like this. Unfortunately the PRC has declined our request. Our commitment to open lines of communication will continue.

This is a complete slap-down. Secretary Austin is so irrelevant they won’t even speak to him; the Chinese simply issue statements. Austin’s attempts at diplomacy haven’t worked out too well:


Also, why is the Pentagon releasing this information? Were they afraid that Beijing would announce that they rebuffed Austin’s overture? There is no up side to announcing this rejection. It’s yet another demonstration of the Pentagon’s completely flaccid leadership.


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