China Bored by Antony Blinken’s ‘Old Cliches’

China's foreign minister Wang Yi, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (inset)
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images, AFP

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese government media outlets panned U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday for delivering a major policy speech on China the day before in which he emphasized “diplomacy” with the rogue communist regime, lamenting Blinken was “unexciting” and “spread disinformation.”

Blinken’s speech – delivered on Thursday at George Washington University after being postponed due to Blinken testing positive for Chinese coronavirus – referred to China as “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order,” but insisted “diplomacy” was the only solution to the threat the Communist Party poses to humanity. Blinken repeatedly insisted that “the United States and China have to deal with each other for the foreseeable future” and that Washington should cooperate with Beijing, the world’s worst polluter, on the issue of climate change.

As Blinken mentioned China’s poor human rights record, including its genocide of Uyghurs and other non-Han ethnic groups in East Turkistan, the Chinese Foreign Ministry enthusiastically condemned his call for cooperation.

“This speech of Secretary Blinken is a voluminous one. He went to great length to spread disinformation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters during his regular press briefing on Friday. “China deplores and rejects this.”

Wang warned that Blinken’s acknowledgment of China as a threat to world peace and human rights would “lead the world to a dangerous abyss” and claimed America “is running a deficit in democracy and human rights with its deplorable track record.” Wang also simultaneously claimed that Chinese government officials “uphold the U.N.-centered international system” while denying that the international order exists at all.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks on China at Jack Morton Auditorium of George Washington University May 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. Blinken delivered a speech on the Biden administration’s policy toward China during the event hosted by the Asia Society Policy Institute. (Alex Wong/Getty)

“People with discerning eyes can easily see that the so-called ‘rules-based international order’ is nothing but a set of ‘house rules’ established by the US and a handful of other countries to maintain the so-called ‘order’ led by the US,” Wang ranted.

Wang concluded by calling the extensive evidence detailing the Uyghur genocide “lies of the century” and demanding Blinken “stop spreading lies and disinformation.”

China’s Global Times government propaganda outlet differed in its assessment of Blinken’s speech from Wang, expressing boredom rather than outrage. The Global Times described the speech as a “summary of old clichés” whose “unexciting” content was an attempt to distract from President Joe Biden’s severely low approval ratings.

“The speech was just a summary of old clichés to show the Biden administration’s assertiveness to outcompete China while enhancing the campaign to stigmatize Beijing despite a seemingly softer rhetoric,” the Times assessed. “The softer rhetoric showed the US’ hypocrisy, and the essential nature of its China policy is still to compete with China in all fronts to contain it.”

The propaganda outlet claimed that Biden had maintained predecessor Donald Trump’s overarching attitude towards China while restoring the China-friendly “tactics” of former President Barack Obama. The Blinken speech, it added, was a response to Biden’s “crisis of approval” at home.

In a separate article, the Global Times dismissed Blinken’s remarks as “unexciting.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (C) and Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi (R) go for their meeting after posing on October 31, 2021 at a hotel in Rome on the sidelines of the G20 of World Leaders Summit of Rome. ( TIZIANA FABI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“Experts said that the seemingly ‘soft’ rhetoric cannot cover the truth that the US top envoy is using an ‘artificial argument’ to cast China as a particularly ‘tough, big guy’ that people cannot be messed with while the US is ‘a little poor,'” the article claimed. “That once again proves US officials’ hypocrisy as the country has been using fine words but never stops doing the bad things, experts said.”

The Global Times typically uses the term “experts” to mean Communist Party-approved propagandists, academics, and officials who offer pro-Beijing commentary for the newspaper.

A third Global Times article claimed that Blinken’s comments were illegitimate because the United States is home to “rampant racism” and other alleged human rights abuses.

“For example, he emphasized that the US is still a diverse and dynamic society, but the backdrop is the rampant racism in the country, repeated gun violence and other chronic problems that are hard to eradicate,” the article, a staff editorial, claimed. “He talked a lot about allies and partnerships, but reality is that the US is experiencing a credibility crisis globally. The areas where Blinken said in a very positive tone are precisely the dilemmas the country is facing.”

Blinken’s speech on Thursday claimed that the Biden administration had “put diplomacy back at the center of American foreign policy” and that his government would strive to increase collaboration with China.

“China is also integral to the global economy and to our ability to solve challenges from climate to [Chinese coronavirus]. Put simply, the United States and China have to deal with each other for the foreseeable future,” Blinken asserted. “We are not looking for conflict or a new Cold War. To the contrary, we’re determined to avoid both. We don’t seek to block China from its role as a major power, nor to stop China – or any other country, for that matter – from growing their economy or advancing the interests of their people.”

“And at times like these, diplomacy is vital,” the speech continued. ” It’s how we make clear our profound concerns, better understand each other’s perspective, and have no doubt about each other’s intentions. We stand ready to increase our direct communication with Beijing across a full range of issues.”

Blinken also asserted that the Biden administration sought to aid American workers but did not “want to sever China’s economy from ours or the global economy.”

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