China’s Foreign ministry on Friday delivered a characteristically cartoonish rejoinder to Mike Pence’s “big” foreign policy speech which, after months of delays, finally arrived this week.
Pence is “arrogant”, said Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman in Beijing. She doubts if any force on the planet is strong enough to impede China’s progress, but if there is such a force, Pence definitely ain’t it, Hua remarked.
Hua is always good for a series of zingers. Over the summer, she repeatedly accused Mike Pompeo of being behind the Hong Kong protests, for example.
In Friday’s remarks, Hua went on to assess that Pence is trying “to disrupt China’s unity [and] internal stability”. Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang (the site of rampant human rights abuses) are part of the country’s “internal affairs”, something Mike should stay out of, Hua said.
It got better.
“The US has already abandoned and cast aside its morality and credibility”, Hua chided, lambasting America for ignoring racism and perpetuating gross inequality. “We hope these Americans can look at themselves in the mirror to fix their own problems and get their own house in order”.
We “hope” so too, Hua, but we’re not optimistic.
(Hua Chunying / Reuters)
Still, Chinese state media picked up on (and ran with) Pence’s deliberate efforts to preserve the good vibes around the trade talks. “Pence speech delivers old gripes with room for optimism”, an “editorial” in the Global Times reads.
“Initial impressions were that his take on China relied on clichés he used in last year’s speech”, the Party mouthpiece said Friday, adding the following:
However, Pence did express a more positive attitude toward improving China-US relations. He emphasized the US does not want to “decouple” and repeated how US President Donald Trump is willing to start a new future with China.
The Vice President expressed the hope that the US-China relationship will bring more benefits to the two peoples and evolve for a brighter future.
Many experts on Sino-US studies believe Pence’s latest speech is different from his last year’s in many aspects.
Chinese scholar Li Haidong, who specializes in US studies, told the Global Times that despite how last year’s rhetoric was considered a new “Cold War” declaration, this year’s address is calmer and sounds more like a call for “re-engagement” with China.
Ultimately, China is going to take Mike’s speech in stride – but not without giving the Foreign ministry a chance to call him a lying, arrogant, hypocrite.
On the bright side for Mike, that’s nothing he hasn’t heard every, single day since Trump took office.
Now let’s see if the NBA and Nike (which Pence assessed may be “wholly owned subsidiaries” of the Communist party) will follow Hua’s lead and implore Pence to “look in the mirror” and “get his own (White) house in order”.
For his part, Charles Barkley says Pence needs to “shut the hell up”.