People's Daily has right to reject US article containing vicious smears against China: FM

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/10 19:28:40 Last Updated: 2020/9/10 20:04:40

People’s Daily has right to reject US article containing vicious smears against China: FM

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo File photo: Xinhua

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's new accusations over China's national media People's Daily's refusal to publish an article of the US ambassador to China is a setup, condemning the article for vicious smears against China. The ministry publicized the details of the setup and counter argument.

The US' intention to publish the article in Chinese media was meant to frame China, Zhao Lijian, the ministry's spokesperson, said at a Thursday press briefing.

The article, attributed to US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, is full of errors, inconsistent with the facts, and full of vicious smears against China, Zhao pointed out. 

Just like US media and any other media outlet, the People's Daily has the right to decide whether to publish articles contributed to it and when to publish them, and is entitled to make necessary changes and edits to them, Zhao noted.

"The move by the US was malicious and provocative, and seriously deviated from the facts," a People's Daily spokesperson also expressed outrage and firm opposition to the accusation earlier Thursday.

Rejecting to publish an article with factual mistakes and filled with prejudice is in line with the professional practice of the journalistic industry, as well as international norms, the People's Daily said.

Pompeo wrote on his Twitter on Thursday that "The Chinese Communist Party [Communist Party of China] complains about a lack of fair and reciprocal treatment with the US. At the same time the CCP refused to run Ambassador Branstad's op-ed in the People's Daily, while their ambassador is free to publish in any US media outlet."

On Thursday, both the People's Daily and Chinese Foreign Ministry revealed to the public how the US acted in demanding the publication of the article. 

On August 26, the US Embassy in China contacted the People's Daily and requested that Branstad's article should be published before September 4, hoping to get a reply on August 27, and clearly stated in the letter that "The US embassy feels it is particularly important that it be printed in full, without edits of any kind."

The People's Daily responded by saying that the article was full of loopholes, and inconsistent with the facts. It also did not meet the standards of the People's Daily for selecting and publishing articles. If the US still hopes to publish it in People's Daily, it should make substantive revisions based on facts. 

Zhao said the strange thing was that on August 27, just as the newspaper was studying the article, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David R. Stilwell had already made representations with the Chinese Embassy in Washington to express their so-called concerns.

Zhao asked the media present at the press conference that "If China, like the US, provides you with an article that seriously distorts the facts and attacks your country, and asks you to reply tomorrow and promise not to make any changes and publish the full text, would you do that?"

This had nothing to do with freedom of the press. The US' intention was not good. It was meant to set China up, Zhao said, demanding the US stop spreading rumors, abandon their bullying practices, and respect press freedom with actions.

While the US called the People's Daily and other Chinese media the CPC's "propaganda machines," it demanded that "propaganda machines" do propaganda for the US, which is illogical, overbearing and unreasonable, the People's Daily and the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. 

Global times


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