Chinese state media called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a "modern-day Joseph Goebbels" on Saturday, imitating language Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden used the same day to describe President Donald Trump.
Chen Weihua, European Union bureau chief for the state-run China Daily, took a page out of the Biden playbook in response to a Pompeo statement about Chinese technology. The statement focused on protecting American data privacy from the Chinese Communist Party.
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"Pompeo may not realize that his daily attacks on China in his tweets and speeches help unite the 1.4 billion Chinese around their government," Chen replied. "By now, the whole world understands what a modern-day Joseph Goebbels Pompeo is."
Joseph Goebbels was the propaganda minister of Nazi Germany and one of Adolf Hitler’s top lieutenants.
Presidential nominee Joe Biden used similar language about Donald Trump hours before Chen’s tweet. During an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, he compared Trump to the Nazi leader in response to Trump’s claims that Biden is pushing a socialist agenda.
"[Trump is] sort of like Goebbels," Biden told Ruhle. "You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge." Biden added that Trump is more "Castro than Churchill."
The Trump campaign strongly rejected the comparison.
"Rather than launching preposterous accusations against the president, Joe Biden and his team should answer for inviting notorious anti-Semites Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour to speak at the Democrat National Convention," said Ken Farnaso, the campaign’s deputy national press secretary. "Biden is desperately trying to distract Americans from his disastrous record and socialist policies."
This is not the first time Biden campaign surrogates and the Chinese Communist Party have shared language to describe the current administration and its leaders as Nazis.
Former ambassador to China under Barack Obama and Biden campaign surrogate Max Baucus compared Trump’s behavior toward Beijing to the rhetoric of Adolf Hitler in May as the White House criticized China’s mishandling of the coronavirus.
Baucus has also repeatedly likened Trump’s approach to China to "McCarthyism," often on Chinese state media. The term is a favored one among Communist Party elites to deflect criticism of China’s failed record on human rights, accountability, and transparency, often used by CCP foreign minister Wang Yi.