In the latest diplomatic incident between the United States and China, President Joe Biden has become a laughingstock in China after his response to a balloon incident. On April 12th, a hot air balloon with a banner reading “Free Hong Kong” was launched from the city of Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong. The balloon was quickly shot down by Chinese authorities, prompting a response from the White House.
In a statement, the White House said that “the United States is deeply concerned by the Chinese government’s actions in response to the balloon incident” and that “the United States will continue to stand with the people of Hong Kong and support their aspirations for greater autonomy and freedom.”
The response has been met with ridicule in China, with many mocking the President for his “weak” response. The Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times said that “the US response was like a balloon itself. It was empty and quickly disappeared.” Another Chinese paper, the Beijing Youth Daily, said that “Biden’s response was like a balloon, which was quickly shot down.”
The mockery of Biden’s response has been echoed by many Chinese social media users, who have been using the hashtag “Biden’s balloon response” to mock the President’s statement. One user wrote, “Biden’s balloon response is a joke. It’s like a balloon, which was quickly shot down.” Another user wrote, “Is Biden’s response a joke? It’s like a balloon, which was quickly shot down.”
The incident has highlighted the increasingly tense relationship between the United States and China, as the two countries continue to clash over a range of issues including human rights, trade, and the South China Sea. It has also highlighted the power of China’s censorship apparatus, which was able to quickly shoot down the balloon and censor any discussion of it on social media.
The balloon incident has also been a major embarrassment for the Biden administration, which has been criticized for its “soft” approach to China. The incident has further weakened Biden’s standing in China and has turned him into a laughingstock.