On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Twitter feed stated that the Biden administration was willing to “stand with the people of Hong Kong,” but that didn’t last long; he deleted the tweet and substituted another.
Blinken initially tweeted, “Beijing should let the voices of all Hong Kongers be heard. The PRC’s disqualification of district councilors only weakens Hong Kong’s long-term political & social stability. We stand with the people of Hong Kong and continue to support their human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
NEW 🚨 Blinken deleted a tweet saying US would ‘stand with people of Hong Kong’ pic.twitter.com/dJhGOHPDl6
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) September 17, 2021
Blinken deleted that tweet. Three minutes after he posted the initial tweet he substituted one stating, “The PRC’s disqualification of seven pro-democracy district councilors undermines the ability of people in Hong Kong to participate in their governance. Governments should serve the people they represent. Decreasing representation goes against the spirit of Hong Kong’s Basic Law.”
The PRC’s disqualification of seven pro-democracy district councilors undermines the ability of people in Hong Kong to participate in their governance. Governments should serve the people they represent. Decreasing representation goes against the spirit of Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 16, 2021
Meanwhile, roughly forty minutes after Blinken’s initial tweet, State Department spokesperson Ned Price issued a replica of Blinken’s initial tweet.
Beijing should let the voices of all Hong Kongers be heard. The PRC’s disqualification of district councilors only weakens Hong Kong’s long-term political and social stability. We stand with the people of Hong Kong & continue to support their human rights & fundamental freedoms.
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) September 16, 2021
On Friday, a State Department spokesperson claimed to Newsweek, “The team that manages the Secretary’s Twitter account mistakenly sent the tweet intended to come from the spokesperson. We fixed that error and tweeted from both accounts, speaking out about Hong Kong authorities’ disqualification of pro-democracy district councilors.”
“Suggestions that this administrative change was somehow motivated by political concerns is patently untrue. The tweets affirm—in words and in meaning—that the United States stands with the people of Hong Kong. We urge the PRC to allow the people of Hong Kong to meaningfully participate in their governance,” the spokesperson added.
In other news regarding the Biden administration and China, on Wednesday, President Biden supported Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after it was reported Milley coordinated with the Chinese and his own staff. Those allegations came courtesy of a new book by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa which reported that Milley made two phone calls to Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army on October 30, 2020, and January 8, 2021.
Milley reportedly told Zuocheng that Milley would warn him if Trump ordered a military strike against China, saying, “If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”
On Wednesday, Biden told reporters, “I have great confidence in General Milley.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also asserted the Biden White House supported Milley, stating, “The president has worked side by side with Chairman Milley for almost eight months as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs,” according to Axios, adding, “His experience with him has been that he is a patriot, he is somebody who has fidelity to the Constitution, and he has confidence in his leadership and the role he has played in his experience with him. I can’t speak to anonymous unconfirmed reports about prior conversations during the last administration.”
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