China has threatened to take measures against American entities related to the downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the American East Coast.
According to international media reports, at a daily briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin gave no details and did not identify the targets of the measures.
Wang’s statement was followed by a statement issued by the country’s ceremonial parliament on Thursday accusing American lawmakers of trampling on the sovereignty of other nations after the US passed a measure condemning the intrusion of the suspected Chinese spy balloon.
The National People’s Congress’s Foreign Affairs Committee repeated Beijing’s insistence that the balloon was an unmanned civilian weather research airship, a claim the US has dismissed citing its flight route and payload of surveillance equipment.
Beijing has also accused the US of overreacting in bringing the balloon down with a missile fired from an F-22 fighter jet.
Since the February 4 downing of the balloon, the United States has sanctioned six Chinese entities it said are linked to Beijing’s aerospace programmes.
While China at first expressed regret over the February 4 incident, it has toughened its rhetoric in a further sign of how badly relations between the sides have deteriorated in recent years.
On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said it will take measures against US entities somehow related to the downing of the balloon, without giving details.
The resolution earlier passed unanimously by the US House of Representatives “deliberately exaggerated the ‘China threat,'” the Foreign Relations Committee statement said.
That was “purely malicious hype and political manipulation,” it said. “Some US Congress politicians fanned the flames, fully exposing their sinister designs to oppose China and contain China.”
“In fact, it is the United States that wantonly interferes in other countries’ internal affairs, violates their sovereignty, and conducts surveillance on other countries,” it said.
A range of Chinese government departments have issued daily protests over how the US handled the issue, accusing Washington of overreacting and violating “the spirit of international law.”
Beijing has offered no details on what company or government department was responsible for the giant balloon, the remnants of which are being sent to an FBI lab for analysis.