DW News – Feb 8, 2023
Retired Senior Colonel Zhou Bo told DW that the errant Chinese balloon was an accident, and that Washington should stop over-reacting to what was an honest mistake. The balloon which Washington said was likely gathering intelligence, has been described by Beijing as collecting “weather” data. It drifted over US airspace last week before being shot down by a US Air Force F-22. Zhou said US-China relations had too many important issues to address that shouldn’t be “overshadowed by a symbolic balloon.”
Zhou added that he was worried by the climate of “extreme competition” between the US and China, saying it could lead to conflict, especially over Taiwan and disputes over Chinese activities in the South China Sea. The retired People’s Liberation Army officer told DW’s Tim Sebastian that Beijing was remaining impartial in Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“If China took Russia’s side we are probably already in the Third World War.”
Zhou said Vladimir Putin was unlikely to emerge as a victor from the war, but Russia was too big and powerful to lose.
Speaking from Beijing, Zhou is a senior fellow of the Center for International Security and Strategy (CISS) at Tsinghua University.
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