BEIJING (AP) — China’s ceremonial parliament has accused American lawmakers of trampling on the sovereignty of other nations after the U.S. passed a measure condemning a suspected Chinese spy balloon’s intrusion into U.S. airspace.
The statement issued Thursday by 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 U.S. has dismissed citing its flight route and payload of surveillance equipment.
While China at first expressed regret over the Feb. 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 U.S. entities somehow related to the downing of the balloon, without giving details.
The resolution earlier passed unanimously by the U.S. 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 U.S. 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.