China Balloon Back Stories – OpEd


Samantha Aschieris helpfully catalogs some hard questions following the flight of a Chinese spy balloon over the United States. Except for the matter of whether the overflight was somehow an “error,” these all deserve serious attention. As investigators should understand, the five queries do not exhaust the mysteries about this balloon. 

Photographers first spotted the Chinese craft while the balloon flew over Montana. The Billings Gazette published the photos, which were quickly picked up by media around the nation. Only then did the U.S. military acknowledge the balloon, which overflew missile installations such as Malmstrom Air Force Base

From there, the Chinese craft proceeded east. The military did not shoot it down until it crossed the continental United States. The U.S. military commander in chief is Joe Biden, whose back story with China deserves more attention.

As the Atlantic pointed out in 2012, vice president Biden “got China” through the efforts of longtime supporter Tom Donilon, who would serve as national security adviser under President Obama. Donilon sees no conflict between a “rising power and an established power” and contends that “a deeper U.S.-China military-to-military dialogue is central to addressing many of the sources of insecurity and potential competition between us.” (emphasis added)

In a similar style in 2019, presidential candidate Biden went on record that the Chinese are “not bad folks” and were not even competition for the United States. 

CNN reported that Tom Donilon was Biden’s “leading contender” for director of the CIA, which should confirm his influence. Whether China’s spy overflight is an example of a “deeper US-China military-to-military dialogue” should be a priority for congressional investigators. President Biden is commander-in-chief, and it’s hard to see how the overflight could have taken place without his approval. 

In response to the balloon incident, China’s Mao Ning told reporters, “China is a responsible country. We act in accordance with international law. We have no intention in violating other countries’ airspace.” As investigators should understand, China is not a responsible country. China is a totalitarian Communist dictatorship and has killed more than any other, according to The Black Book of Communism

China violated the United States’ airspace, and the Biden administration let it happen. If that does not deserve investigation, it’s hard to imagine what might. 

Meanwhile, Thomas Donilon is now chairman of the Blackrock Investment Institute, but the family influence remains strong. Tom’s brother Mike Donilon, Biden’s chief strategist during the 2020 campaign, is now a senior advisor and, as the New York Times reports, “the defender of the Biden brand.” Thomas Donilon’s wife, Cathy Russell, served on Biden’s transition advisory board and became director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Russell now serves as executive director of UNICEF

This article was published by The Beacon

K. Lloyd Billingsley

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller.

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