Chinese State Media Huffs After Pompeo, Blinken Agree on ‘Genocide’ Declaration

In the final hours of the Trump administration, Secretary of State Pompeo declared China’s abuses against the Uyghur Muslim population, ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang to be a “genocide.” Antony Blinken, President Biden’s nominee to replace Pompeo, endorsed that notion at his Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing with a clear statement: “On the Uighurs I think we’re very much in agreement. And the forcing of men, women and children into concentration camps, trying to, in effect, re-educate them to be adherents to the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party, all of that speaks to an effort to commit genocide.” The American view didn’t sit well with the Xi regime’s propaganda machine, who issued a warning to Blinken and ripped Pompeo.

The Global Times, the Communist Party’s most hawkish media organ, ran this headline: “Pompeo makes himself ‘doomsday clown’ lying about Xinjiang.” The paper quotes Communist officials who insisted the term was a “farce” intended to “discredit China” before assailing the character of Pompeo. Toward the end, the critical focus turns to Blinken, albeit with a far less hostile tone. One quoted “expert” opined that the Biden administration would “chuckle to themselves” because they were spared making the announcement. Other unnamed “experts” warned that “China would not compromise on issues of its core interests, including the Xinjiang region, the Biden administration should also be aware that the continuous use of Xinjiang topics to pressure China would do no good for bilateral ties which have hit a nadir.”

The following day, The Global Times ran a different piece: “Biden drops Trump’s toxic rhetoric toward China, but ‘courage needed to fix ties.’” This article suggests that Blinken was speaking in a politically convenient manner because he was “speaking to Congress, so they needed to please the different political forces to maximize support for their nominations.” Another quoted source told the publication that the testimonies “cannot fully represent Biden’s ideas” and that the 46th president “will handle China-US relations based on his rich diplomatic experiences.” The quoted voice continues by saying that if Biden becomes a “Trump with better table manners” than they believe the United States will be “doomed” if we continue to aggressively challenge China, adding that if so the US will “walk along the same path as the former Soviet Union [which disintegrated].”

As the transition of power began, China launched “unprecedented” sanctions against outgoing Trump administration officials. The Washington Post writes that China’s “first act of the Biden era fell flat” as the new administration responded by criticizing the Xi regime and “called for unity to compete against China.”