China’s tightly controlled state media are delighted with the imminent departure of Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo and, in an opinion poll on Wednesday, spurred him on with the phrase “Get ready to go”.
The Chinese Communist Party of China’s Global Times newspaper was cautious in its comments on Beijing’s preferred choice in the U.S. presidential election, but the state-run tabloid has never held back its views on President Donald Trump’s chief diplomat.
The newspaper’s website is full of editorials critical of the outgoing Secretary of State, including six different articles since Monday alone.
After Pompeo on Tuesday compared the Chinese leadership to a “Marxist-Leninist monster” and said the Trump administration was “not yet ready” to take tough action against Beijing, Global Times chief Hu Xijin fired back with his own scathing retorts.
“This rare ideologue will soon lose his job as secretary of state, but he pretends he can continue to exert influence not only in the United States but in the world,” the editor-in-chief wrote on Wednesday, calling America’s top diplomats “obsessive and narcissistic.
Referring to Pompeo’s habit of distinguishing the Chinese Communist Party from what he sees as its long-suffering subjects, Hu said: “To Pompeo’s persistent belief that China’s political system is coming to an end, I would say that socialist China will live as long as people want a better life.
“In conclusion, I would like to say to him: Get ready to go,” Hu rejoiced.
Trumpf has lost the election, but the relationship between the U.S. and China has changed forever
Pompeo was one of China’s toughest and most vocal opponents in the Asia-Pacific region, and the Global Times, which represents the most militant views of the Chinese leadership, reacted with disapproval to issues such as the U.S. ban on Huawei, support for Taiwan and his recent Asian tour.
The Foreign Minister’s five-country anti-China tour ended in late October with visits to India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Global Times opinion articles branded the trip a failure, describing Pompeo’s efforts to turn some of China’s neighbors around as an “era of train wreck diplomacy.
“Pompeo is obsessed with making China the enemy,” a recent article said.
“Look at Pompeo’s bloated ego. He is on the verge of losing his job but is still trying to interfere in the affairs of Xinjiang and Hong Kong,” Hu wrote in another Op-ed on Thursday.
Threat from China
When the election results were announced last week and President-elect Joe Biden was predicted to be the most likely winner, the Global Times began making subtle hints that President Xi Jinping would be more receptive to the methods of the former vice president.
“Biden will reportedly form a diverse cabinet, and many people are looking forward to the changes he will bring about in U.S. foreign diplomacy – particularly in China policy,” an editorial said Monday.
In a message apparently intended for the president-elect and his cabinet, the paper wrote: “Pompeo’s successor will also have to repair the damage done to China-US relations.
“For example, he or she will have to undo some wrong policies (including restrictions on diplomats and embassy matters) to create a good atmosphere for the relations between the two countries,” the article said.
China’s growing influence in East Asia and its expansion into the South China Sea will be the biggest challenges for a Biden presidency abroad. The former senator from Delaware recognized this when he wrote “Why America Must Lead Again” in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs magazine.
Meanwhile, Beijing, while cautious, is already talking about Biden in a predictable way. The Chinese state media expect him to normalize relations with the world’s second largest economy and return to traditional forms of foreign policy.