The Chinese Balloon Saga Is a Power Play

Analysis over why the Chinese dispatched a spy balloon so overtly to spy on the U.S. increasingly are missing the mark; and some, like NBC News, are propagandizing the propaganda itself. The Chinese spy balloon saga is a power play to demonstrate to the world that China does not fear the United States. That’s the real message China is sending using a not so subtle act of aggression over a large swath of U.S. skies.

China’s goal, from the get-go, predicted the balloon would control the media’s world attention, and in doing so, the bet for China was to showcase its fearless approach to dealing with the United States. Blowing the balloon, which was the right move, fed into that narrative that China is not at all concerned about U.S. power or its dominance. What better way to express this but through a slow moving spy balloon over U.S. skies? The message unmistakably China was sending was along these lines “We want you to know that we don’t fear you.”

Or maybe, China has pissed over our skies to mark our territory as a token of disrespect for our mightiness.


The arrogance of our analysis in claiming how shocking and boneheaded China’s move was testifies to our inability to understand the reality of Chinese perception of our power. No where and no one seems to grasp just how much China gained, on the world stage, from this spy balloon. Our attention span has concentrated, for lack of better words, on our own pretense of an inflated ego with a senile inability to see the bigger picture.

This is not about “how dare they?”, but rather it has been about “what a stupid move on the part of China?” Nothing in our reasoning scrutinizes the true and only goal of China, which is to show the world it could care less about U.S. power. Some analysis is going as far as saying that president Xi has lost control of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) all together.

Go figure our arrogance.

Meanwhile, in China, we guarantee you that corks are popping at the same time that we pooped the balloon. Will this bold and challenging Chinese move impact other countries to view us as a vulnerable giant? It’s hard to predict how fence-sitter countries might react.

Regardless, China’s flexing of its muscles over our skies is worrisome news. Maybe it is a “Thucydides Trap” that could result in a war with China as has predicted the U.S. four-star general Mike Minihan in his memo to his Air Force troops.

Or maybe, China has pissed over our skies to mark our territory as a token of disrespect for our mightiness.

The Chinese Balloon Saga Is a Power Play

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