Rep. LaHood: Chinese balloon over U.S. is ‘unacceptable’

Congress 16th District candidate Darin LaHood

The presence of a high-altitude Chinese balloon over the U.S. on Friday is an indication that China abides by “a different set of rules and standards,” said U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, 16th District Republican from Peoria who represents portions of the Sauk Valley.

LaHood serves on the newly created House Select Committee on China, established Jan. 10 in a nonpartisan 365-65 vote.

LaHood also commended Secretary of State Antony Blinken for calling off a scheduled trip to Beijing.

“The CCP continues to abide by a different set of rules and standards, and the administration should send a clear message that this type of behavior and any violation of our sovereignty is unacceptable,” LaHood said in a statement released to Shaw Local News Network.

“This action underscores the importance of the focus of the Select Committee on China and the urgency needed to address threats from the CCP. I believe Secretary Blinken’s choice to postpone his trip is an appropriate step to underscore the seriousness of this action.”

LaHood also serves as co-chair of the U.S.-China Working Group.

LaHood appeared on CNN on Friday morning and expressed concerns that the balloon’s location – then above parts of Montana – put it overhead key U.S. military installations.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.