Fmr U.S. Ambassador Hoekstra on Chinese balloon: A 'wonderful gift' to the CCP

"It basically gives them a license to do whatever they want from a national security standpoint."

Published: February 3, 2023 7:05pm

Updated: February 3, 2023 7:18pm

Former U.S. Ambassador to The Netherlands Pete Hoekstra on Friday condemned the Biden administration's response to an alleged spy balloon entering an American airspace, declaring it a boon to Beijing.

"I don't think it's adequate," he said of the administration's response. "So we saw it coming our way. Why we didn't shoot it down as it was still over, perhaps the ocean or over some uninhabited parts of the US... We should absolutely have done it."

"This is a wonderful gift to the Chinese Communist Party," he continued. "Imagine that having a surveillance balloon that you can direct and you can steer above America. And the response from America's 'Oh yeah, we know it's gonna be here for a few days. Go ahead. And you know, when you get a chance, steer it back to wherever it needs to go. Take the data with it.'"

"Now it's a it's an unbelievably disappointing response from the Biden administration," he lamented. Hoekstra made his remarks on the Friday edition of the "Just the News, No Noise" television show.

Guest host former Georgia GOP Rep. Doug Collins pressed Hoekstra on why the administration has seemingly addressed the aerial incursion, among other national security issues, in an unserious manner.

"Well, I think we are taking international incidents seriously; it's just the wrong ones," Hokestra replied. "This is a threat to our national security," he said, before pointing to Special Presidential Envoy on Climate John Kerry's flurry of activity in pursuit of a Chinese climate change agreement.

Hoekstra then contended that the dovish response from Washington on an alleged Chinese espionage effort stemmed from the administration's desire to pursue climate initiatives with Beijing and that Washington did not wish to compromise such efforts by responding in force.

"[C]limate change goals and objectives are a higher priority to this administration than national security interest. That's why they did not address this balloon more seriously," he concluded. "It basically gives them a license to do whatever they want from a national security standpoint."

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