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U.S. Asked Beijing to Stop Putting Fake Statements into U.S. Officials’ Mouths

On June 5, a WeChat account Buyidao (补壹刀) published an article saying that it obtained exclusive information that U.S. officials from the Consulate in Guangzhou, China stating that the U.S. is using the Xinjiang issue to attack China.

The article claimed the information was provided by Mr. R, a supplier of a world-class sports brand, who attended a reception at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou in 2021. At the reception, Mr. R heard Sheila Carey and Andrew Chira, two U.S. officials from the  Guangzhou Consulate, saying the U.S. was “using the Xinjiang issue to hype up the so-called issues of forced labor, genocide, and human-rights abuses” as part of a “tug of war” with China. The ultimate goal of the “tug of war” was to “completely sink the Chinese government into a quagmire.”

Many of China’s official media, including the Communist Youth League and local governments, reposted the message. Li Yang, Counsellor from the Department of Information, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chen Xiaodong, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, and Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also retweeted the message.

On June 7, the U.S. Embassy countered the false claim. It posted the following on Twitter in both English and Chinese, “We call upon the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to stop attributing false statements to U.S. officials or taking other actions that might subject our diplomats to harassment.” “Such action potentially endangers the U.S. officials being named and is inconsistent with the PRC’s obligation to treat United States diplomats with due respect and take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on their freedom or dignity.”

1. Deutsche Welle, June 8, 2022补壹刀称美外交官承认故意炒作新疆人权-美方反击/a-62066134
2. Twitter