FM questions US freedom of speech as it investigates whistleblower for publishing articles on GT
Published: Jun 15, 2021 09:23 PM
Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

The US should look at itself in the mirror when talking about freedom of speech instead of viewing others with a magnifying glass all day long, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday, responding to a question about Franz Gayl, a US Pentagon staff member, who is being investigated for publishing articles in the Global Times. 

Franz Gayl, a 64-year-old retired US Marine major who works at the Pentagon, is under a counterintelligence investigation by the Marine Corps for two articles published in the Global Times that criticized the US policy toward the Taiwan Straits. 

In his first article, published on April 27, Gayl argued that the US would lose a war with China over the island of Taiwan. He further clarified his stance in another article a month later, in which he made it clear that "Attempting to support the renegade island of Taiwan's secession is directly contrary to the US national interests, as we know in advance we will lose."

"I think many people wonder: Doesn't the US always boast of its so-called freedom of speech, order, fairness and justice? He is being investigated for publishing two articles that are inconsistent with the US government's stance. Can't the US tolerate two articles that clearly said they only represented the author's personal views?" asked Zhao at a daily press conference. He noted similar cases in fact can be found in the US everywhere. 

"The US should look at itself in the mirror when talking about freedom of speech instead of viewing others with a magnifying glass all day long," Zhao emphasized. 

Zhao listed the examples of how the US treated epidemic whistleblower Dr. Helen Y. Chu, as well as Dr. Matt McCarthy, a New York City-based physician who pleaded US health officials to testing suspected coronavirus patients, and Captain Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt who wrote a letter asking for help on the coronavirus-stricken ship. 

He said those people offered their suggestions to the US government, but they were silenced, investigated or dismissed simply because they told the truth and made statements that were inconsistent with the government.  

Hua Chunying, another Foreign Ministry spokesperson, also criticized the US' so-called freedom of speech on Sunday. She tweeted Gayl's two articles published in the Global Times, saying "Franz Gayl, retired #US Marine major and science adviser to Marine Corps, is under investigation for two articles published in Global Times that criticized the US policy regarding #Taiwan. Should he also enjoy #FreedomOfSpeech?"

"No regrets,"Gayl told the Global Times via email on Saturday after the news that he is being investigated was revealed by US media. He said that he hoped "it all leads to some good on the China issue," as his views have begun to appear in the US media in such a way.

Before submitting his articles to the Global Times, he also sent them to US and European media outlets, but they were either rejected or did not receive a response. 

To prevent a war in the Taiwan Straits was Gayl's motivation for publishing the articles in the Global Times. "I do not know why my opinions were not accepted [by US and Western media]. My sense of urgency is caused by the increasing tensions reported in US news media. I am always concerned for my fellow Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and my country," Gayl told the Global Times.

The investigation of Gayl, and the fact that articles about his opposition to the US' current Taiwan policy were not accepted by US mainstream media, demonstrates the hypocrisy of the US on freedom of speech, Chinese analysts noted.

Global Times