Chinese state media over the weekend branded U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “an enemy of world peace” after he made several press appearances criticizing the Chinese government for failing to stop the coronavirus pandemic when it was contained within its borders.
“The U.S., as the world’s superpower, has special responsibility for world peace. It’s a pity that at a time when the world is facing turbulence and great uncertainties from the novel coronavirus, the position of secretary of state has been occupied by a person of a sinister nature,” a Sunday editorial in the Chinese government-run Global Times said. “Pompeo is poisoning U.S. diplomacy with his personal hatred of the Chinese political system, which will worsen the global situation.”
The editorial accused Pompeo, who formerly ran the Central Intelligence Agency, of turning the State Department into the CIA.
“Pompeo and his like are desperately pulling the world backwards. They are unable to handle a diverse and complicated new century and so they attempt to resume the Cold War,” the paper claimed. “They can only ‘realize their ambition’ in polarized confrontation.”
The Communist Party of China‘s official newspaper, the People’s Daily, also chimed in, Breitbart News reported, saying that Pompeo’s statements that COVID-19 started in China was “groundless and irresponsible” and was “totally against science.”
The publication apparently conflated Pompeo’s remarks with separate theories that the virus was made in a laboratory in Wuhan. Pompeo never made such claims, only that the virus appears to have originated in the region, which is widely believed by most scientists.
China has floated its own stories that the U.S. military created the virus.
“Pompeo has the right to not to [sic] believe the information provided by the Chinese government, but he cannot base his accusations on his personal assumptions. He also has the right to assume that China made the novel coronavirus, but until this is proven, it is only an assumption,” the People’s Daily wrote.