John Ratcliffe isn't the only Republican going after China these days. The Hill lays out the chronology of a tiff this week between Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn and a Chinese journalist, starting with Blackburn's Thursday morning tweet thanking President Trump for banning cotton produced by forced Uighur labor. "The US will not support companies that profit off of slave labor," was Blackburn's initial remark. It was her next comment, though, that upped the temperature. "China has a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing," she posted shortly after. "Some things will never change..." While some people accused Blackburn of putting up a racist tweet, Chen Weihua, the chief correspondent for the state-owned China Daily, offered up his own terse reaction.
"B----," he replied to Blackburn's second tweet, followed by an elaboration: "This is the most racist and ignorant US Senator I have seen. A lifetime b----." He later retweeted those two posts, as well as added: "Wonder why the US Congress would have approval rating as low as 9% (according to Gallup)? It is because people like lowlife Marsha Blackburn were there." Blackburn fired back a short time later, calling Chen a "puppet in Xi Jinping's delusional China dream for global domination." "America will not bow down to sexist communist thugs," she wrote. Reuters notes that Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China's Global Times, also weighed in, saying Blackburn's "cognitive level is still as low as a monkey's." The online spats come against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between the US and China, over everything from trade and technology competition to COVID-19 and human rights. (More Marsha Blackburn stories.)