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There’s Absolutely No Way That President Xi Was Aware Of The Chinese Balloon Ahead Of Time
President Xi wouldn’t have invested so much of his personal reputation into advancing the shared goal of a New Detente through his meetings with Biden and other Western leaders during last November’s G20 Summit, not to mention the active engagements between their diplomats since then, had he not truly wanted to make progress on this. Thus, there’s absolutely no way that he was aware of the weather balloon ahead of time otherwise he would have definitely informed his American counterpart in order to avoid having this incident derail their hoped-for rapprochement.
The Chinese weather balloon incident abruptly became the Biden Administration’s worst crisis by far due to its national security implications for the homeland. Furthermore, it directly led to the indefinite postponement of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned trip to Beijing next week that was expected to see both sides make further progress on their hoped-for New Détente. That outcome would have been mutually beneficial, yet now their possible rapprochement is seriously in doubt.
There’s absolutely no way that Chinese President Xi Jinping was aware of the weather balloon ahead of time otherwise he would have definitely informed his American counterpart in order to avoid this incident derailing the New Détente that both leaders have recently invested so much in trying to clinch. The Alt-Media Community (AMC) continued pushing the ideologically driven false perception that China is the US’ irredeemable foe, but the Mainstream Media (MSM) recently began warming up to it.
For instance, the Washington Post started rehabilitating the Chinese leader’s image in the Western consciousness just half a month after he met with President Joe Biden in mid-November on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali. That was followed up a month later by the Financial Times detailing his so-called “charm offensive” across the West, the preceding hyperlinked analysis of which connects to more pieces about the New Détente for those intrepid readers who’d like to learn more about it.
The reason why the US-led West’s Golden Billion began gradually shifting the “official narrative” towards China at this precise point in the New Cold War was to precondition the populace for accepting a potentially far-reaching series of mutual compromises aimed at establishing a “new normal” in their relations. This was being actively explored by both sides in an attempt to determine whether it’s possible to preserve the Sino-American bi-multipolar superpower duopoly that’s rapidly eroding.
The uncontrollable multipolar processes unleashed by the Ukrainian Conflict created a series of systemic crises for these two superpowers that’s creating the conditions in which the prior world order where they each exerted predominant influence over International Relations might soon become a thing of the past. China and the US therefore have complementary grand strategic interests in trying to comparatively “normalize” their ties in order to jointly preserve this fading system or delay its evolution.
President Xi wouldn’t have invested so much of his personal reputation into advancing this goal through his meetings with Biden and other Western leaders during last November’s G20 Summit, not to mention the active engagements between their diplomats since then, had he not truly wanted to make progress on it. This observation adds credence to the conclusion that he absolutely wasn’t aware of the weather balloon ahead of time that ultimately derailed his plans and thus embarrassed him.
The AMC will likely try to spin everything in their usual way by pushing one of their infamous “5D chess” conspiracy theories, which in this context will probably claim that China was “tricking the US” with its prior outreaches in order to “set it up” to be surprised by this balloon. Any narratives resembling the aforementioned should be dismissed by observers as “copium” intended to cover up the “ideologically inconvenient” New Détente and the blow that the latest events dealt to President Xi’s reputation.
The fact of the matter is that he himself was immensely invested in this mutually beneficial outcome and thus obviously wouldn’t have done anything to discredit the gradual improvement that the progress towards this end over the past couple of months had on his reputation among the Western audience. This leads to the emerging conclusion that some mysterious force within his government, presumably a hardline anti-US faction most likely concentrated within the military, was responsible for this incident.
The New Détente that he and his American counterpart were so actively pursuing would inevitably involve some military compromises by both sides in order to be successfully clinched and remain sustainable. Therein lies the most sensitive aspect thereof since some within their militaries would obviously have felt uncomfortable with this in principle due to their security dilemma, which was detailed in this analysis that was published just prior to the balloon incident becoming a big deal.
This insight in turn bolsters suspicions that a hardline anti-US faction within the Chinese military (People’s Liberation Army or PLA) orchestrated the balloon incident in order to sabotage President Xi’s New Détente with the US, but they were also arguably assisted by their hardline anti-Chinese counterparts within the American military too. It takes two to tango, as the saying goes, and that second faction could have covered the incident up if they didn’t want to derail the New Détente.
For instance, they could either have shot the balloon down over the Pacific Ocean or the sparsely populated Canadian wilderness without any average American ever catching a glimpse of it or simply claimed that it was one of their own wayward balloons instead of saying that it’s a Chinese spy vehicle. With this in mind, it’s clear that they opportunistically exploited this provocation by their hardline anti-US counterparts to advance their paradoxically complementary hardline anti-Chinese agenda.
The indisputable outcome of this week’s unexpected sequence of events is that Blinken’s trip to Beijing was derailed and progress on their political leaderships’ hoped-for New Détente abruptly ground to a halt, which served the interests of their respective hardline factions that were both against those talks. Both Presidents Xi and Biden now stand embarrassed after the former was likely undermined by the PLA while the latter’s military publicly exposed this incident instead of kept it covered up like he wanted.
It's still too early to conclude that the New Détente is dead, but it’ll obviously be extremely difficult for either side to revive their political leadership’s shared goal of exploring avenues to comparatively “normalize” their relations. Their respective hardline military factions appear to have come out on top in stopping progress on that front at least for the time being, but Presidents Xi and Biden could still in theory attempt to jointly work around those obstructive forces if they both truly want to keep it alive.