Did US deviate from usual sanctions after China balloon incursion? GOP chairman subpoenas documents
Jul 12, 2023, 9:16 AM
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Foreign Affairs chairman said Wednesday he subpoenaed the State Department for classified documents that could indicate whether the U.S. deviated from its plans for sanctioning China after a Chinese surveillance balloon traversed sensitive military sites across North America
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said he has subpoenaed the department’s “competitive actions” calendars, a classified list of actions the Biden administration had laid out to counter China aggression, including sanctions and export controls on Chinese companies like tech giant Huawei.
McCaul had asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to voluntarily deliver the documents in May and accused the State Department of declining to use sanctions over the balloon in favor of continuing engagement with the Chinese government. He said the department hadn’t complied.
“Given the State Department’s continued refusal to comply with my committee’s urgent request for crucial information related to China, I am left with no choice but to issue a subpoena,” McCaul said in a statement.
McCaul has Biden administration’s special envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, may have mishandled classified information.
In February, the U.S. military shot down the suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it crossed over sensitive military sites. The Biden administration, citing imagery from American U-2 spy plains, said the balloon was equipped to detect and collect intelligence signals as part of a huge, military-linked aerial surveillance program that targeted more than 40 countries.
China insisted the flyover was an accident involving a civilian aircraft and threatened repercussions.