China has accused the United States of overreacting after President Joe Biden ordered a suspected spy balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Sunday. China maintains the balloon, first spotted over U.S. airspace last week, was a civilian aircraft blown off course. The U.S. and China have been conducting surveillance on each other for years using spy satellites, hacking and other means. The Pentagon has revealed Chinese balloons also entered the continental United States at least three times during the Trump administration, as well as once before under Biden. The balloon saga led to the abrupt cancellation of a planned trip by Secretary of State Tony Blinken to Beijing and threatens to further derail the relationship between the two countries. "The two countries need to speak to each other," says Nicholas Bequelin, a visiting fellow at Yale's Paul Tsai China Center and formerly the Asia-Pacific director for Amnesty International, in a wide-ranging interview about evolving U.S-China relations and potential for tensions to escalate further.
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