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Pentagon Says China Refused to Take Call Over Balloon Uproar

  • US-China tensions flared over balloon — and shooting it down
  • ‘Particularly important’ to talk at such moments: Pentagon
Bloomberg business news
Chinese Balloon Recovery Begins in US
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China rebuffed a US effort to arrange a phone call between the two countries’ top defense officials after the US shot down an alleged spy balloon, a Pentagon spokesman said, in a stark new sign of how the uproar over the balloon has sent ties between the adversaries to a new low.

The department asked for a call between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe right after the balloon was shot down on Feb 4. “Unfortunately the PRC has declined our request,” Brigadier General Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement, referring to China by its formal name, the People’s Republic of China.