WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement regarding President Biden’s shootdown order of the Chinese surveillance balloon.

“I commend President Biden for responding to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) aggressive action last week by ordering the shootdown of the surveillance balloon without risking American lives. The President’s action ensured our defense against malign intelligence collection. By waiting until the balloon was over the water, we maximized our chances of recovering the payload. Additionally, the President’s direction to our military and intelligence community to collect intelligence on the balloon’s sensitive electronics enabled us to learn more about the operation and the CCP’s capabilities.

“This is one of many aggressive CCP tactics, and further underscores the need for the U.S. to continue working with our allies and partners to deter China from further, escalatory behavior and encourage them to be a more productive partner in upholding the rules-based international order.

“China will continue to be a world power for the foreseeable future. The U.S. must find ways to balance competition and cooperation to coexist peacefully. To do so, we need to have open and constructive dialogue between our two countries. To that end, I urge Secretary Blinken to reschedule his visit to China to meet with President Xi as soon as possible to discuss this and other pressing issues of mutual concern.”