President Joe Biden and his speechwriters will “likely rewrite” the Communist China portion of his State of the Union speech set for Tuesday night, following the Chinese spy balloon being shot down this past week after days of “violating” United States airspace.
As Biden’s speechwriters try to help the president emphasize a series of accomplishments during the State of the Union speech this week, Axios noted that the president will try to be “nimble” and would have to “likely rewrite” his portion on Communist China, while the administration is also navigating Beijing’s threat of repercussions for downing the spy balloon.
American civilians first discovered the spy balloon floating over their homes on Thursday. After the news broke, a senior defense official said last week, “We are confident that this high-altitude surveillance balloon belongs to the [People’s Republic of Communist China].”
Then, after days of floating around the continental United States, the military shot down the suspected Chinese spy balloon on Saturday morning while it was over the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolina coast.
South Carolina residents caught video footage of the spy balloon being shot out of the sky on Saturday by the United States military:
“This afternoon, at the direction of President Biden, U.S. fighter aircraft assigned to U.S. Northern Command successfully brought down the high altitude surveillance balloon launched by and belonging to the People’s Republic of Communist China (PRC) over the water off the coast of South Carolina in U.S. airspace,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement on Saturday.
However, the Chinese spy balloon and the State of the Union speech come at a unique time in Biden’s administration.
The House Republicans have been planning a slew of investigations into Biden, in addition to Communist China. So, the Chinese spy balloon ultimately adds fuel to the fire.
Despite all of this, Axios noted that Biden, who is reportedly preparing to run for a second term, will want to use the speech to try and maintain his administration’s ability to work with Communist China after Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met last November and agreed to have more channels for their officials to communicate on a more regular basis.
John Kerry, Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC) — a cabinet-level position that does not require a Senate confirmation — reportedly has been holding climate negotiations with his Chinese counterpart, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently held a meeting with her Chinese counterpart in Zurich.
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