Biden mulls public speech on China spy balloon uproar ahead of Poland trip

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President Joe Biden speaks at the National Association of Counties 2023 Legislative Conference in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. Biden will speak to union members in Maryland on Wednesday about his efforts to boost the economy, (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Susan Walsh/AP

Biden mulls public speech on China spy balloon uproar ahead of Poland trip

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President Joe Biden is mulling a public speech on the suspected Chinese spy balloon ordeal ahead of his trip to Poland as he juggles multiple foreign policy predicaments.

Although a final decision does not appear to have been made, Biden is inclined toward addressing the balloon debacle ahead of the trip to reassure the public that there is no need for concern amid a flurry of shootdowns of high-altitude balloons in United States airspace, Bloomberg reported.

BIDEN TO VISIT POLAND ON FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF RUSSIA INVADING UKRAINE

Biden is slated to depart for Poland on Feb. 20 to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of neighboring Ukraine. He has downplayed rumors that he will travel directly to Ukraine on the anniversary despite other world leaders, such as British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, having done so already.

If he delivers the address, Biden will likely seek to alleviate concerns that the dust-up with Beijing could devolve into a greater conflict with China, per the report. A growing number of Republicans have criticized his handling of the balloon debacle and called for greater transparency.

Since reports first emerged about the Chinese balloon drifting through U.S. airspace, Biden has been relatively quiet, giving few remarks to reporters and informing them that he ordered the military to shoot down the balloon.

The balloon first entered U.S. airspace on Jan. 28 and was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4. China has maintained that the balloon was used for civilian meteorological purposes — something the Pentagon has rejected.

Officials have been scrambling to recover the remnants of the Chinese craft and members of the Senate have been briefed on the incident. Other unidentified objects that were subsequently shot down are believed to have been commercial devices, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

U.S. intelligence was tracking the balloon since its takeoff from China, according to CBS. Beijing has condemned the U.S. for downing the balloon and the debacle prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to call off his planned trip to China.

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Kirby revealed Tuesday that the Biden administration is planning to disclose some details of its protocols for handling unidentified objects in U.S. airspace.

Biden’s trip to Poland comes amid heightened fears that the Kremlin is gearing up for a winter surge in a bid to turn the tide of the war.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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