Russian state TV hails Chinese spy balloon for ‘turning US upside down’

Russian state TV presenter Margarita Simonyan hailed the suspected Chinese spy balloon that swept over the United States this week for “turning the country upside down” during a recent broadcast.

The balloon, first sighted over Billings, Montana, on Wednesday, caught the attention of millions of Americans over the past week, sparking national security concerns and fierce debate over whether the Biden administration should have shot it out of the sky sooner . The surveillance device was shot down over the Atlantic on Saturday afternoon.

Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russia Today (RT), which is a regular host on Russian state television, praised China for allegedly sending the balloon into American airspace – although China claims it was just a weather balloon that just went off the track departed for no sinister purpose. Video of Simonyan’s remarks was translated and posted to Twitter on Sunday by journalist Julia Davis, founder of Russian Media Monitor.

“I was also amused by the brilliant confrontation between America and China this week,” Simonyan said. “Again great respect to China for making it so beautiful.”

She lamented the huge media coverage of the balloon, pointing in particular to CNN.

“When you go to CNN International, all the coverage revolves around that. A little bit about the Australian girl who was bitten by a shark. Something different about North Korean teenagers. And the rest about the balloon, the balloon, the balloon,” said Simonyan. “When and how it should have been shot down and a third balloon captured by Venezuela or Guatemala.”

Simonyan praised China for “managing to turn the whole country upside down.” She added that coverage of the alleged spy balloon has drawn attention away from the Russia-Ukraine war, which is set to reach its one-year mark later this month.

She also complained that the American news agency knew nothing about the conflict. However, Russian state television has served as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wartime propaganda machine when the Kremlin cracked down on freedom of expression in Russia last year.

Russian state television is cheering the Russian spy balloon
Russian broadcaster Margarita Simonyan is pictured in St. Petersburg, June 17, 2022. Inserted, an Israeli-made aerostat balloon. In a recent broadcast, Simonyan celebrated the suspected Chinese spy balloon that hovered over the United States last week for “turning the country upside down.”
Contributor/Getty Images; SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images

Despite derogatory remarks about the balloon, its presence violated international law and US airspace, and has strained already strained US-China relations. After its discovery, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken postponed a diplomatic meeting to Beijing.

Meanwhile, China condemned the US military for shooting down the balloon.

“China will resolutely uphold the legitimate rights and interests of the company in question while reserving the right to take further measures in response,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement after being brought down from the sky.

President Joe Biden on Saturday ordered the balloon down after it flew over much of the country and hovered over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was criticized for not shooting it down sooner, but the Pentagon warned that the potential damage to civilians on the ground would outweigh any potential information China would receive.

news week has asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for an opinion. Russian state TV hails Chinese spy balloon for ‘turning US upside down’

Rick Schindler

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