Chinese state-run media celebrated the performance of senior diplomats Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi on Thursday in which they berated American counterparts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, on America’s alleged human rights abuses.
The Global Times and China Daily, two of the Communist Party’s loudest English-language mouthpieces, applauded the two Chinese officials for being “firm,” expressing “sincerity,” and offering “vigorous counterblows” to the Americans’ condemning China for its elimination of human rights safeguards in Hong Kong, its genocide of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang, and other human rights atrocities.
The four diplomats met in Anchorage, Alaska, on Thursday, chosen as a halfway point between Washington and Beijing. The Chinese state outlets — and the Foreign Ministry — complained that Alaska was inhospitable, “biting,” and unpleasant for the diplomats to visit.
Wang and Yang personally accused the United States of abusing them as guests at the meeting and flouting diplomatic protocol.
The Global Times, citing its usual stable of Communist Party-approved “experts,” applauded Wang, China’s State Councilor, and senior Politburo member Yang for delivering “vigorous counterblows to condescending U.S. representatives.” It assessed that the opening remarks of the talks, which will reportedly remain ongoing, were “beyond the expectations of observers” in their severity and bitter tone, blaming President Joe Biden’s diplomats for the acrimony.
“So far, the US’ aggressiveness and disregard for diplomatic protocol, and rapid and sharp counterattacks by the Chinese delegation, have made the world take notice,” the Times assessed. It complained that Washington choosing Anchorage as a diplomatic host city was uncomfortable, as it is “one of the coldest places on US soil with a freezing temperature of minus 19 degrees Celsius [-2.2ºF].”
One of the Times‘ experts, former diplomat Yang Xiyu, protested that Washington’s team entered the talks with a philosophy of “putting human rights over sovereignty,” which was unacceptable to the Chinese, who allegedly sought “peaceful coexistence and noninterference in internal affairs.”
The Global Times punctuated its coverage of U.S. foreign policy by showcasing on its frontpage on Friday a political cartoon featuring a shattered Statue of Liberty holding her head in her hands while hands decorated with the flags of several rogue states pointed menacingly at it, apparently a commentary on dictatorships at the United Nations Human Rights Council condemning alleged racism in America.
At China Daily, another state-run propaganda outfit, European bureau chief Chen Weihua shared an animated GIF of eagles and rabbits, the latter presumably representing the Chinese, throwing things at each other. “After four years of Trump’s rogue regime, no one should still think about coercing and blackmailing China,” Chen proclaimed.
This one goes viral in the Chinese social media. It’s a reminder to those in Washington that US loudspeaker diplomacy won’t work. After four years of Trump’s rogue regime, no one should still think about coercing and blackmailing China. pic.twitter.com/MufCw1QF5t
— Chen Weihua （陈卫华） (@chenweihua) March 19, 2021
Chen Weihua has developed a reputation for profane and sexist posts on Twitter, including repeatedly referring to American Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) as a “bitch” for questioning China’s human rights record and international criminal behavior. While Twitter has branded Chen’s account as a state-affiliated account, it has yet to censor his bigoted remarks.
It remains illegal for Chinese citizens in China not affiliated with the Communist Party to use Twitter.
China Daily described Blinken’s and Sullivan’s opening statements as “unreasonable” and applauded the Chinese diplomats for their replies, citing an anonymous official who traveled to Anchorage with the Chinese.
“The Chinese side, in response to the US’ invitation, traveled to Anchorage in sincerity to have a strategic dialogue with the US side, and China finished preparations for the dialogue in accordance with the procedures and arrangements that were agreed to by the two sides in advance, the unnamed official said,” China Daily reported.
The “official” protested, “this is not the way to treat guests, nor is it in line with diplomatic etiquette and protocols, and the Chinese side has made a solemn response to this.”
In an opinion piece, China Daily accused the Americans of “spew[ing] vitriol at China, taking potshots at its domestic and foreign policies and dictating what it should and should not do.”
“With their grandstanding, US politicians, trampling diplomatic protocol and violating every international relations norm, used the meeting that began on Thursday not to iron out differences and put Sino-US relations back on the right track, but to brazenly interfere in China’s internal affairs,” the propaganda outlet lamented.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry echoed the displeasure of its state propaganda arms during its regular press briefing on Friday.
“The Chinese delegation went to Anchorage for the strategic dialogue with sincerity, fully prepared to engage in dialogue with the US according to the protocols and arrangements agreed on beforehand,” spokesman Zhao Lijian said. “However, as the US side first delivered opening remarks, they exceeded severely the set time limit and wantonly attacked and criticized China’s domestic and foreign policies, provoking disagreements. These are hardly good host manners or proper diplomatic etiquette. The Chinese side has made a solemn response.”
Zhao also complained Alaska was cold.
“Alaska is the northernmost US state. When the Chinese delegation arrived in Anchorage, their hearts were chilled by the biting cold as well as the reception by their American host,” Zhao claimed.
The Chinese communist regime expressed extreme displeasure with the opening statements at the meeting, which will be ongoing through at least Friday.
Blinken vowed to “discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, and economic coercion toward our allies,” without going into individual detail on each.
“Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability. That’s why they’re not merely internal matters and why we feel an obligation to raise these issues here today,” Blinken said.
Yang took the opportunity to urge America to stop promoting human rights and democracy on an international stage and to scold the country for its own alleged human rights abuses.
“And the United States has its style — United States-style democracy — and China has the Chinese-style democracy. It is not just up to the American people, but also the people of the world to evaluate how the United States has done in advancing its own democracy,” Yang insisted. “So we believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image and to stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world.”
“Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States, and they have various views regarding the Government of the United States,” Yang continued. “[T]he challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter. It did not come up only recently.”