Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Tuesday told Breitbart News she believes the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is attempting to distract from its role in the Chinese coronavirus pandemic by spreading “falsehoods” and launching a harassment campaign against her.
“The Chinese Communist Party has mobilized to spread falsehoods in an attempt to cover up their deadly role in this pandemic. I will never stop fighting against the evils perpetuated by the CCP,” the senator said.
Blackburn’s remarks came in response to attacks from Chen Weihua, a bureau chief for the state propaganda outlet China Daily, who on Tuesday called her a “crooked politician.”
A crooked politician in Tennessee
— Chen Weihua （陈卫华） (@chenweihua) March 9, 2021
This is not the first time Chen’s Twitter account has personally assailed Blackburn. On December 3, 2020, Blackburn commented on what she believed to be China’s “5,000 year history of cheating and stealing,” prompting Chen to respond by calling her a “Bitch.”
— Chen Weihua （陈卫华） (@chenweihua) December 3, 2020
Blackburn’s detractors followed Chen’s lead, insulting her as “racist” and “bigoted.”
“This is just racist bigoted xenophobia. There is no other way to describe characterizing an entire country, which represents about one-fifth of the worlds population [sic], as having such negative qualities for thousands of years,” Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown sounded off.
This is just racist bigoted xenophobia.
There is no other way to describe characterizing an entire country, which represents about one-fifth of the worlds population, as having such negative qualities for thousands of years. https://t.co/ApDeXW8EJs
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) December 3, 2020
Too bad you can't get attention any way aside from being racist. Your policies really are terrible.
— Jess Phoenix 🌋 (@jessphoenix2018) December 3, 2020
State-sponsored attacks on Blackburn escalated after the senator took a lead role in questioning the relationship between the CCP and the National Basketball Association (NBA).
“I had written [NBA Commissioner] Adam Silver because the NBA has this very close relationship with Alibaba and products that are manufactured in China and they benefit, financially benefit, in tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars,” Blackburn told Breitbart News last year, “by that relationship and their programming rights and merchandising. They should, if they’re going to be so concerned here, why are they not concerned about over there?”
Many NBA celebrities have taken vocal stands against alleged discrimination in the United States but have remained silence in the face of what the Biden administration, following the Trump administration before it, has branded a “genocide” of Muslim ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang, China. The NBA recently shut down a “training camp” in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, after months of condemnation from human rights activists.
Last week, Blackburn again pressured the NBA regarding an attempt to pursue a lucrative television deal with Chinese state television while refusing “to speak out about Chinese slave labor camps for fear of putting stress on its billion-dollar deal with the Chinese government.”
Chen, the China Daily editor, has also attacked other senators who challenge the Communist Party, though typically only in the form of epithets on Twitter. In 2020, Chen tweeted at Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), calling him an “ignorant politician.” Hawley responded by proclaiming his love for “being insulted by #China state-run press.”
Chen has also voiced support for many of former President Donald Trump’s political opponents by retweeting Hillary Clinton, retweeting Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and retweeting Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post columnist.