by WorldTribune Staff, September 10, 2020
The People’s Daily, the main propaganda newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), refused to run an editorial written by U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, the U.S. State Department said.
“Ironically, the op-ed called for more positive relations between our two countries and asked to ‘build relationships through unrestricted engagement and uncensored discussion,’ ” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
In the editorial, titled “Resetting the Relationship Based on Reciprocity”, Branstad noted that President Donald Trump “came to office vowing to make the overall relationship” between the U.S. and China “more balanced and reciprocal.”
“The Chinese government, while benefiting from our openness, has exploited it – in a way that is increasingly inconsistent with international norms,” Branstad wrote. “Some Chinese entities have purchased American companies not to create jobs, but to acquire technology that is then taken back to China and developed to compete against us. Some Chinese companies have raised money on our stock exchanges yet refused to subject themselves to the standard auditing rules required by all other listed companies, U.S. or foreign. A small number of Chinese students and researchers use access to our universities, research facilities and companies to steal American intellectual property. These actions have not only harmed our bilateral relations but also tarnished the remarkable legitimate economic progress that the Chinese people are rightfully proud of.”
In its rejection of Branstad’s editorial, the People’s Daily noted: “In our opinion, the op-ed in the name of Ambassador Branstad is full of loopholes and seriously inconsistent with facts.”
The propaganda outlet also claimed the editorial “does not meet the consistent standard of the People’s Daily, a prestigious, serious and professional media, for selecting and publishing articles.”
The People’s Daily’s response “once again exposes the Chinese Communist Party’s fear of free speech and serious intellectual debate – as well as Beijing’s hypocrisy when it complains about lack of fair and reciprocal treatment in other countries,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo added: “In contrast, in our vibrant and confident democracy, Chinese government officials have enjoyed the ability to talk directly to the American people and provided its government’s views through our free media. China’s Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai alone has published five op-eds this year in prominent U.S. news outlets such as the Washington Post and Politico, and given exclusive interviews to the likes of CNN and CBS. China’s Foreign Ministry and state-owned propaganda organs like the Global Times and China Daily regularly use free access to American social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to attack our policies, our way of life, and the very system that protects their ability to speak freely. They do this in other democratic countries, too.”
Pompeo continued: “If Communist China is sincere about becoming a mature power and strengthening relations with the free world, General Secretary Xi Jinping’s government would respect the right for Western diplomats to speak directly to the Chinese people, allow foreign journalists back into China, and stop the intimidation and harassment of investigative journalists, foreign and Chinese, who strive to uphold the integrity of the fifth estate to serve the public good. Their refusal to do so shows just how much China’s unelected Party elites fear their own people’s free-thinking and the free world’s judgment about their governance practices inside China.”