Former US National Security Advisor (NSA) Susan Rice publicly castigated a Chinese diplomat placed in Pakistan, calling him a “racist disgrace” due to his now-deleted tweets which allegedly highlighted the flaws with the USA.
Through his tweets, Lijian Zhao, the deputy chief of mission in Islamabad, apparently tried to divert criticism against China’s alleged detainment of Muslims and other ethnic, as well as religious minorities, in the Xinjiang province by drawing attention to the United States’ drawbacks, including gun violence, racism and unequal pay.
This came after 22 countries jointly condemned China for its policies in Xinjiang, where over two million people belonging to a religious and ethnic minority are reportedly detained, according to CNN.
To counter this, he referred to a joint statement signed by 37 countries — including Pakistan — which extended its support to China, highlighting the Asian country’s “remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.” Zhao termed this letter as a “big slap on the face of US & its western cohorts.”
In the tweets which have now been deleted, the Chinese diplomat claimed that if “you’re in Washington, D.C., you know the white never go” towards the southeastern parts of the city, “because it’s an area for the black & Latin.”
Rice tore into the diplomat’s statements and tweeted: “You are a racist disgrace. And shockingly ignorant too. In normal times, you would be PNGed for this. Ambassador Cui, I expect better of you and your team. Please do the right thing and send him home.”
While she wrongly mistook him to be a part of the team of Chinese diplomats posted in the US, she did not mince her words while reacting to Zhao. PNG stands for ‘persona non grata’ which is the highest rebuke possible for any diplomat who has fallen out of favour with the government where s/he has been posted.
Zhao reacted to the former NSA’s criticism and said that Rice was “such a disgrace, too. And shockingly ignorant, too” — only to delete the tweet later.
“To label someone who speak the truth that you don’t want to hear a racist, is disgraceful & disgusting,” the Chinese diplomat had written.