Mike Pompeo: Beijing fears its own people's free thinking more than any foreign foe
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, on Wednesday (local time) came down heavily on Chinese Communist Party and called for releasing Xu Zhangrun who was detained by Chinese authorities for publishing articles criticising Xi Jinping over coronavirus pandemic.
"As with all unelected, communist regimes, Beijing fears its own people's free-thinking more than any foreign foe. We were deeply troubled to learn this week that the CCP detained Xu Zhangrun for criticizing General Secretary Xi Jinping's repressive regime and the CCP's mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Pompeo.
"He should be released. He was simply telling the truth. He should be released as soon as possible," the US Secretary of State said.
According to media reports, Xu had published an essay in February criticising Xi's policy of deception and censorship over the coronavirus situation in China.
Xu worked as a law professor at Tsinghua University. He had earlier spoken against the 2018 abolition of presidential term limits.
Stating that the CCP has an enormous credibility problem, the US Secretary of State said: "They failed to tell the world the truth about this virus, and now hundreds of thousands of peoples all across the world are dead. We need the truth; we still need the truth."
"We need to open up. We need to engage in a serious way with scientists around the world. And they now say they're going to allow the WHO to come in. That's great, but the WHO needs to be free to do its real work. We need to make sure the right people are there to engage in this investigation, and we need real answers, not a perfunctory political solution. This is about science, not politics, and the Chinese Communist Party needs to come clean with the world about this virus," added Pompeo.
The US Secretary of State also slammed China for its recent actions over Hong Kong.
"Beijing said that for 50 years they'd give the people of Hong Kong "a high degree of autonomy." And you all have seen what's happened after only 23 years - empty promises made to the people of Hong Kong and to the world," he said.
Pompeo lauded Google, Facebook, and Twitter for "refusing to surrender user data to the Hong Kong government". "Other companies should follow them and do the same," he said.
China's decision to impose draconian national security law in Hong Kong has invited criticism with many saying the move would lead to erosion of its autonomy and also crush political dissent.