China: U.S. ‘Needs More Sense of Shame’

China Jake Sullivan
(Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

China’s government-run propaganda newspaper Global Times called for the United States to develop a “sense of shame” in an editorial on Monday, chiding American national security advisor Jake Sullivan for his “typical American arrogance” in condemning human rights abuses in Russia.

The Global Times editorial accused Washington under President Joe Biden of attempting to “arbitrarily isolate a large country like China” in response to Sullivan’s remarks, made in two interviews on Sunday, one with ABC News’ This Week in which he did not mention China at all and one with Fox News. On ABC, Sullivan answered questions about Biden’s meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin last week, in which Biden appeared to make no progress in repairing the relationship with Moscow, claimed to “trust” Putin, and preceded by rescinding pivotal military aid to Ukraine, which Russia has partially colonized.

Sullivan claimed Biden “indicated to President Putin that the United States will respond if certain harmful activities continue” and “stood up for human rights and universal values,” particularly mentioning political prisoner Alexei Navalny, arrested after surviving a poisoning attempt experts have attributed to Putin’s regime.

On Fox News, Sullivan claimed that Biden had pressured China through cooperation with Europe to make a choice: “either they will allow, in a responsible way, investigators in to do the real work of figuring out where this came from, or they will face isolation in the international community.”

“Sullivan has shown typical American arrogance of calling white black,” the Global Times denounced. “Perhaps he and his colleagues think that the U.S.’ strength can support them to do whatever they want, and they may believe the recent summits held by Western countries prove that the US still maintains the mobilization power to arbitrarily isolate a large country like China.”

“The U.S. is indeed the strongest country in the world. But the U.S. ruling elites have seriously overestimated the international coercive force its national strength can produce,” the state newspaper asserted, in an editorial titled “U.S. Needs More Sense of Shame, Clear Estimation of Itself.” “Over the past one or two decades, the US has failed to do anything neatly and cleanly.”

The editorial then mocked Sullivan’s mannerisms, stating, “when Sullivan confidently threatened China and Russia, his gestures were as hilarious as a bad boy in an elementary school class.”

“China and Russia will undoubtedly refute Sullivan strongly. If Sullivan has normal self-esteem, he should feel a wind relentlessly blowing his spittle back to his own face,” the Global Times warned. “China will not accept any investigation by US intelligence agencies. If we find any trace of US intelligence agencies taking action in China, we will immediately strike heavily.”

The editorial concluded demanding that American officials “curtail their arrogance” towards China and Russia and “have more sense of shame and have a clearer estimation of itself.”

The state propaganda outlet naturally echoed the outrage from China’s Foreign Ministry against Sullivan on Monday. Spokesman Zhao Lijian — responsible for the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic was created by the U.S. Army — told reporters on behalf of the Communist Party that he “deplores and rejects” Sullivan’s remarks.

“It is inflammatory and sensational statement that China is facing isolation in the international community,” Zhao asserted. “Origin-tracing is a scientific matter that requires international cooperation of scientists across the globe. The vast majority of countries in the international community agree that this issue should not to be wantonly politicized.”

“The U.S. has been attacking China time and again for no other purpose than to hold back China’s development, and shift the blame for its poor epidemic response,” Zhao claimed, calling for an international investigation into a U.S. Army laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, that has no known ties to early cases of coronavirus.

“What is really going on inside the bio-lab at Fort Detrick?” Zhao asked. “The military base has inherited the devilish legacy of Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army that waged the aggression war against China. The lab’s scope of research includes bacteria that have been known to pose serious threats to public, fauna and flora health.”

Zhao compared the laboratory to the 1921 Tulsa race massacre — an incident unrelated to any disease outbreaks — without elaborating.

The Chinese coronavirus pandemic began in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Leaked Chinese Communist Party documents whose contents the South China Morning Post published in March 2020 revealed that the first known confirmed case of Chinese coronavirus was documented in Wuhan, China, on November 17, 2019. In January, the U.S. State Department published a fact sheet revealing that American intelligence officials had evidence suggesting the hospitalization of several employees at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a laboratory known to be studying bat coronaviruses, in late 2019 with symptoms of respiratory infection.

The Chinese government has not explained these reports other than dismissing them as a “complete lie.” The Global Times, often the most belligerent of China’s state-run English-language media outlets, compared the search for the origin of the Chinese coronavirus in Wuhan to the post-September 11 search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. A trove of leaked American government documents published by Wikileaks in 2010 revealed that that search did indeed yield findings of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction previously under the control of the Saddam Hussein regime, a fact the Global Times omitted from its criticism of the pandemic investigation.

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