Top pols discussed whether there’s a new Cold War with China after a U.S. fighter jet blasted a suspected Chinese spy balloon out of the sky.
Discovery of the balloon flying high over the continental U.S. last week left the Biden administration furious. But Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg took a measured tone Sunday when asked whether there’s a Cold War between the U.S. and China.
“I don’t know that you can do a one-to-one comparison with the last Cold War,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“But, certainly, you see this kind of great power competition. And we’re seeing it a lot.”
He went on to note that the U.S. has been in an “economic competition” with China.
“You can’t lead the world, especially in a highly competitive environment, unless you have world-leading infrastructure,” Buttigieg said. “I’m particularly energized and concerned about making sure that we stay ahead when it comes to [electric vehicles].”
Republican lawmakers took a much more hawkish tone.
“China has been waging a Cold War against the United States for decades, and unfortunately, not many of our leaders have acknowledged that,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said on “Fox News Sunday.”
He also got in a dig at the commander-in-chief.
“What began as a spy balloon has become a trial balloon testing President Biden’s strength and resolve, and unfortunately the president failed that test,” said Cotton, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “And that’s dangerous for the American people.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) offered similar criticism.
“It’s not just the balloon,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“It’s the message to try to send the world that … we can do whatever we want, and America can’t stop us,” Rubio, vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said of China.
Navy divers were working to recover parts of the destroyed balloon through the weekend.
Discovery of the craft prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to can plans for a trip to China. It’s yet to be rescheduled.
With News Wire Services
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