Chinese State Media’s Attacks on Pompeo Backfires as Netizens Take US Side

September 2, 2020 Updated: September 7, 2020

A long article by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency that lambasted U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for criticizing the communist regime has unexpectedly backfired, as Chinese netizens expressed support for Pompeo and criticized the CCP.

The 30,000-word article that Xinhua published on Aug. 25 criticized a speech Pompeo delivered outside the Nixon Presidential Library in California on July 23. Xinhua said it was “a total negation of the China-U.S. relations” and “malicious attacks” on the CCP’s political system, and “undermines the CCP’s relations with the Chinese people.” It then excerpted 26 passages from Pompeo’s speech, and criticized them one by one.

In its first passage, Xinhua quoted and combined three partial sentences from Pompeo’s speech: “The Chinese people are completely distinct from the Chinese Communist Party. … The biggest lie that they tell is to think that they speak for 1.4 billion people. … The CCP fears the Chinese people’s honest opinions more than any foe.”

Other quotes and phrases from Pompeo’s speech that Xinhua took issue with included: “China is not a free country, 1.4 billion people are surveilled, oppressed. … The CCP is repeating some of the same mistakes that the Soviet Union made–rejecting property rights and predictable rule of law. … The Chinese Communist Party’s designs for hegemony. … Beijing threatens international agreements. … China ripped off U.S. prized intellectual property and trade secrets. … People’s Liberation Army is not to protect the Chinese people ….”

The extremely long Xinhua article was reprinted by many other state media, and it took People’s Daily three full pages to publish the entire article, with Pompeo’s passages printed in dark bold font. Various self-media also spread the piece online where it quickly went viral.

Chinese Weibo users welcomed the unexpected opportunity to read parts of Pompeo’s speech.

One person bluntly tweeted, “Bull’s eye!”

Another commented: “If 120 words take a minute to read, this more than 30,000-word article is equivalent to Pompeo being lectured for 258 minutes, that’s 4.3 hours.”

Others said: “Mad!” “The nail on the head!” “An unprecedented treatment!” “This madness means the Americans are doing absolutely the right thing!”

Quite a few posts reminded others that pretty soon this may be a “rare collectors’ item” and to be sure to keep a copy of it.

Despite the wordy attack, some netizens also “thanked” Xinhua for helping to publicize what the “people’s enemy” (Pompeo) said, and he has said a lot.

There were also some who wondered what might happen if Pompeo stayed in his position for another term or would someday even be elected President of the United States.

“What if the people’s enemy becomes the U.S. President?”

“If the people’s enemy stays for another four years, will the regime go crazy?”

“Maybe he will be elected president in 2024.”

“[The regime is] frightened to death.”

“If the people’s enemy becomes the leader in 2024, how is the regime leader going to explain Xinhua’s article? Or is it going to be forcibly retrieved?”

One person said, “This is empowering. … A big bargaining chip for a future presidential campaign!”

Some netizens even retweeted pictures of Pompeo making meatballs and posing with a puppy with captions saying, “Clever, warm, and handy” and “Lovely.”

Others tweeted: “A stinky and dirty piece of work that’s full of lies built around Pompeo’s ingenuity,” and “Pompeo is rewarded with the highest honors … it’s not easy to be targeted by the CCP’s mouthpiece with such a lengthy effort!”

Chinese affairs commentator Tang Jingyuan tweeted: “The crazy bombardment of the [Chinese] people’s enemy, Pompeo, is really an all-out effort in the extreme, almost exhausting the entire media’s strength. Since the CCP came into power in China, there has never been a Western high official who was treated with such VIP recognition by the regime’s mouthpiece. This unprecedented hatred only shows its unprecedented fear. Secretary Pompeo’s visiting multiple countries has one ultimate goal: To take down the CCP.”