In an interview with the South China Morning Post earlier this week, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon described himself as a "super hawk" when it comes to China - that was right after he advocated closing US financial markets to Chinese companies and claimed that destroying Huawei is more important than striking a trade deal.
Bannon's caustic rhetoric about China is nothing new, though he's definitely made more media appearances to discuss the subject in the past few weeks. Though Bannon has staked out a position that's far more aggressive than President Trump's baseline (in its dealings with Beijing, the White House has expertly run the old good-cop bad-cop routine), his warnings about China's plans to dominate the US have attracted some unlikely sympathizers (Twitter erupted after the NYT's Tom Friedman said he "really agrees with much of what Steve said" after the two men recently appeared on CNBC together.
And on Thursday, Beijing finally responded to Bannon, with Global Times editor Hu Xijin, whose tweets have occasionally moved markets since the trade-deal talks collapses, said even the most radical Chinese leaders wouldn't call for driving Apple or McDonald's out of the Chinese market.
Then, he borrowed a line from American leftists, and accused Bannon of being a fascist: "Political elites like Bannon are turning the US into an economic fascist country."
Bannon publicly advocated driving Huawei out of Western markets & shutting it down. In China, even the most radical opinion leader won’ t call for driving Apple or McDonald’s out of Chinese market. Political elites like Bannon are turning the US into an economic fascist country. pic.twitter.com/wuy5os9zRq— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) May 23, 2019
Bannon told the SCMP that Huawei is a security threat not just to the US but to its allies, and that "we are going to shut it down." He has also scolded bankers for acting like money men for the Communist Party, and selling out their country in the process.