CNN Confirmed That The Balloon Incident Was A Defining Moment In The New Cold War

CNN Confirmed That The Balloon Incident Was A Defining Moment In The New Cold War

By Andrew Korybko

Whether due to a coincidental convergence of thought or after having been influenced by my analytical series on this subject, CNN’s Stephen Collinson arrived at the exact same conclusions as I did, which extends them credence and thus also means that they’re now part of the “official narrative” about this incident.

CNN published a piece on their front page of their website Monday morning explaining “Why the Chinese balloon crisis could be a defining moment in the new Cold War”. Whether due to a coincidental convergence of thought or after having been influenced by my analytical series on this subject, Stephen Collinson arrived at the exact same conclusions as I did, which I elaborated upon in my piece about how “The Chinese Balloon Incident Could Decisively Shift China’s & The US’ ‘Deep State’ Dynamics”.

Constructive critics and toxic trolls alike could have earlier attempted to dismiss my insight about the Chinese military’s hardline anti-US faction orchestrating this incident for the purpose of derailing the Sino-American New Détente as a so-called “conspiracy theory”, but that’s now impossible after none other than CNN – one of the world’s leading Mainstream Media outlets – just extended it credence. Here are the relevant excepts to that end from Collinson’s latest article:

“While China has scores of spy satellites trained on the US – just as Washington does on its rival – the visible audacity of the balloon flight has triggered fury in Washington. This, in turn, threatens to unleash political, military and diplomatic forces in both nations that, while manageable in the short-term, show how hard it will be to stop this growing rivalry from hitting a boiling point and causing war in one of the defining threats of the 21st century.

Until the balloon crossed into US airspace, there was a small window between Chinese President Xi Jinping’s securing of a norm-busting third term last year and the next US presidential election when cooler politics in Washington and Beijing could have facilitated an easing of diplomatic tensions. That opportunity may now have been squandered.

The US military must explain why the balloon was not shot down before traversing the continental US, and the incident threatens to open up tensions between the Pentagon and an under-fire White House over the handling of the incident, as well as debate over what to do next time.

The balloon’s ignominious end – burst by a missile fired by a US jet – also plays into volatile Chinese politics. It represents fresh embarrassment for Xi, whose cementing of a third term has been overshadowed by a badly botched effort to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, unprecedented anti-lockdown protests and now a major crisis with the United States.

It begs the question of whether the flight was a deliberate act to provoke the US or was a mistake. Or were hawkish Chinese armed forces seeking to embarrass the top leadership, or to derail attempts to ease the temperature with the US ahead of Blinken’s visit?

The episode is a reminder that while the ruling Chinese Communist Party is ruthless and repressive, high-stakes power politics is as treacherous in Beijing as Washington. Like in the US, the fraught politics of US-China relations can lead to decisions that cause escalation.

The political storm could create conditions in the US that will complicate efforts to avert the dangerous plunge in Sino-US relations – the original purpose of Blinken’s mission.

If Biden further escalates US reaction to the incident, after shooting down the balloon, he could create a furious counter-reaction in Beijing that will make the tensions even worse.

There were signs in the run-up to Blinken’s visit that Xi’s government, beset with problems at home, wanted to tone down the heat of the relationship at least, building on the Chinese leader’s meeting with Biden in Bali last year. There had even been speculation that the trip could lead to an announcement of another summit between the leaders this year.

But if the balloon incident turns US public opinion further against China, the president will have even less latitude for diplomacy aimed at slowing the pace toward confrontation.”

The following observations that I was first person in the world to introduce into the discourse, which is objectively the case as proven by my analytical series preceding Collinson’s article, are now part of the “official narrative” about the balloon incident:

* The sequence of events that transpired over the past week was a game-changer in the New Cold War;

* It’ll decisively shift China’s and the US’ “deep state” dynamics towards a fiercer competition;

* The Pentagon and the White House are divided over Biden’s handling of this incident;

* A hardline anti-US faction in the Chinese military likely orchestrated this to sabotage the New Détente;

* The resultant domestic political firestorm will impede Biden’s efforts to revive their rapprochement;

* Public opinion might also soon decisively shift against China, further hampering his outreaches to it;

* So considering all of this, the New Détente has thus almost certainly been dealt a deathblow.

In view of the abovementioned interpretations now representing the “official narrative” about this incident after CNN just extended them credence via Collins’s latest article, it’s all the more surprising that President Xi continues clinging to the New Détente, which makes China look desperate and weak.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.

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Categories: Analysis, Geopolitics, International Affairs

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