The Global Times, a Chinese state-run publication, attacked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as an “enemy of world peace” in a recent editorial after he criticized the Chinese government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The editorial article describes Pompeo’s public criticisms against China as him launching a “string of violent attacks” on the country.
“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in recent days has launched a string of violent attacks on China. He accused China of causing enormous losses to the US and the world by ‘not sharing the information they had’ again in an interview with Fox News on April 23, saying the Chinese government will ‘pay a price for what they did,'” the editorial states. “One day earlier, he blasted China for taking advantage of a pandemic to ‘bully’ neighbors and called on other nations to hold China to account.”
The article goes on to accuse Pompeo, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, of transforming the state department into the CIA to cause a “major power confrontation” with China.
“Despite being the chief diplomat of the US, he totally betrayed the basic responsibility with which he is entrusted to promote international understanding. He has become the enemy of world peace,” the editorial states.
“The US, as the world’s superpower, has special responsibility for world peace. It’s a pity that at a time when the world is facing turbulence and great uncertainties from the novel coronavirus, the position of secretary of state has been occupied by a person of a sinister nature. Pompeo is poisoning US diplomacy with his personal hatred of the Chinese political system, which will worsen the global situation.”
The Global Times’ commentary follows reports the Chinese government hid information about the spread of coronavirus and punished whistleblowers and who raised early warnings.
Pompeo has been among those who have criticized China for their delay in providing information about the virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House coronavirus task force also voiced criticism for China in a recent Fox News interview. He noted China maintained claims that the virus could not spread from human-to-human contact even as cases spread around the world, and that once they reached other countries the coronavirus did “what any highly transmissible virus does.”
“Early on we did not get correct information, and the incorrect information was propagated right from the beginning,” Fauci added.
The Global Times editorial goes on to claim that criticisms against China are part of a plot by President Donald Trump’s White House and the Republican Party to shift blame away from Trump’s response and onto China to divert domestic US attention that might damage Trump’s chances for reelection in November.
The U.S. State Department and other international observers have, by contrast, assessed the Chinese government, along with the Russian and Iranian governments, have adopted a shared offensive and defensive propaganda narrative around the coronavirus. The alleged offensive propaganda effort is meant to criticize the coronavirus responses of other countries, while the defensive effort simultaneously claiming China did an effective job handling the outbreak and promoting positive press about Chinese coronavirus medical relief efforts around the world.
Beyond the Global Times editorial criticizing Pompeo, other Chinese officials have taken aim at U.S. officials by name.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang criticized White House trade adviser and China skeptic Peter Navarro as “a habitual liar,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“He has no credibility to speak of,” the Chinese spokesman said.
Navarro previously raised alarms China “effectively nationalized” U.S. multinational companies by blocking them from exporting their medical equipment products from factories in China to U.S. markets, starving the U.S. supply of such items as medical masks and gowns. Navarro also criticized China for “profiteering” by exporting “fake tests and counterfeit tests” to foreign countries in need of coronavirus testing equipment.