China warns US of ‘consequences’ if it escalates balloon incident

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China warned the United States on Sunday it would “bear all the consequences” if it escalated the controversy over a Chinese balloon that the US military shot down this month.

Beijing will “follow through to the end” in the event “the US insists on taking advantage of the issue,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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A US military jet on February 4 shot down what Washington calls a Chinese spy balloon after it had crossed North America. Beijing says it was an errant weather-monitoring craft.

China’s statement followed a meeting between top diplomat Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

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