A spokesman for the US Defense Department said China had declined a request for a phone call from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Spokesman Brigadier General Pete Ryder said the defense secretary had requested to speak with his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, after China shot down an alleged spy balloon on February 4.
“Unfortunately, China rejected our request, but we are determined to keep all channels open for communication,” he said.
General Glenn van Hark, head of the US Northern Command, said that a ship has been tasked with finding the debris of a Chinese balloon that has fallen into the Atlantic Ocean.
It should be noted that China maintains that the balloon is used for weather monitoring, which had no military purpose, but Washington declared it to be a very advanced spy plane.
It should be remembered that the US Secretary of Defense and China’s Defense Minister had a meeting in Cambodia during November.