GOP Sen. Rounds: Blinken Would Have Still Gone to China if Public Didn’t Know about Spy Balloon

On Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Your World,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) said that he believes Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s visit to China would have gone forward if the incursion of a Chinese spy balloon into U.S. airspace didn’t become public given that the administration didn’t cancel the meeting until Friday despite stating that it knew about the balloon on Tuesday.

Host Neil Cavuto asked [relevant exchange begins around 1:50] “I don’t want to compare apples and oranges, Sen., but it does ring a lot like the early readings we’re getting on the classified documents [from] the administration and how they were explaining them. And in this case, if they were aware, as they seem to be indicating, of this presence for some days, why, all of a sudden, is it today that they’ve decided to cancel Antony Blinken’s trip to China?”

Rounds responded, “I can’t tell you for sure. We’re going to ask that question. But I think along with it and then close to the same question is, would we have ever been advised that this had occurred in the first place if the incursion would have happened and then would have slipped back out again like they have suggested has happened in the past?”

Rounds later added, “I would suspect that it’s being canceled — and, once again, we’ll have to ask them that question — but I would suspect that it’s being canceled because we found out about it. I think if the incursion would have occurred and they would have turned it around or maneuvered it out of our airspace again, we probably wouldn’t have found out about it and I would suspect that the meeting might very well have continued on.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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