On Tuesday, the last day of the Trump administration, then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pulled the trigger on a long debated topic and policy proposal in Washington - namely to officially label Chinese persecution of the country's Uighur minority as "genocide".
Predictably Beijing was quick to voice its outrage. But with the Trump administration now out the door China let some colorful words fly. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying called Pompeo a "doomsday clown" while charging him with spreading blatant lies.
I have determined that the People’s Republic of China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, China, targeting Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 19, 2021
She further said the US genocide designation slapped on China is based on "outright sensational pseudo-propositions and a malicious farce concocted by individual anti-China and anti-Communist forces represented by Pompeo," as quoted in the Associated Press.
"In our view, Pompeo’s so-called designation is a piece of wastepaper. This American politician, who is notorious for lying and deceiving, is turning himself into a doomsday clown and joke of the century with his last madness and lies of the century," Hua added.
Pompeo's Tuesday declaration had underscored that future Biden policies are likely to only embolden China. It was significant eleventh-hour declaration against Beijing using the strongest language thus far on the issue.
"If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, imagine what it will be emboldened to do to the free world, in the not-so-distant future," Pompeo said in the statement.
Meanwhile, any Biden reversals on Trump's targeted sanctions on Chinese officials especially early in his administration - particularly related to the Hong Kong issue - will make the Democratic administration look "soft". But this is precisely what such statements as Pompeo's latest were designed to do.