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China threatens US with 'consequences' over spycraft shootdown, says it will not 'flinch'

China on Monday accused the U.S. of continuing to "fuss over, dramatize and escalate" the shootdown of the spycraft that was shot down near South Carolina.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is asking for an apology from the U.S. government after weeks of tense international relations.

"The U.S. is in no position to smear China," spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters Monday. "The U.S. needs to demonstrate sincerity and acknowledge and resolve the damage its abuse of force has done to China-U.S. relations."

The frayed relationship follows the destruction of a Chinese surveillance balloon over the continental U.S. 

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MFA officials have claimed the U.S. has used the incident — which they maintain was an accident — in order to negatively influence China's international reputation

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Wenbin continued, "If the U.S. side continues to fuss over, dramatize and escalate the unintended and isolated incident, it should not expect the Chinese side to flinch. The U.S. side should be prepared to bear all consequences arising from an escalation."

On President Biden's orders, the U.S. military shot down the surveillance balloon on Feb. 4 after it flew across the country over several days. Senior national security and defense officials linked the aircraft to China's global surveillance program, which the People's Liberation Army operates out of the Hainan Island provide off its southeast coastline. 

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Wenbin went on to criticize the U.S. government's repeated condemnations regarding Chinese relations with Russia. 

China, one of Russia's most powerful allies, is considering lending lethal support in the invasion of Ukraine, U.S. intelligence claims. 

"China is committed to promoting peace talks and has played a constructive role," Wenbin said of allegations. "The China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is built on the basis of non-alliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third countries, which is within the sovereign right of any two independent states. 

He concluded, "We do not accept the U.S.’s finger-pointing or even coercion targeting China-Russia relations."

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