Secretary Pompeo’s comments on Africa were just one of several U.S. critiques that dominated much of Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian’s regular press briefing on Friday. After responding to the Secretary’s announcement that Washington would impose targeted sanctions against Chinese officials linked to the internment of hundreds of thousands of Uighurs in Xinjiang and suggestions by Secretary Pompeo that the WHO’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19 would likely be compromised by the Chinese, Zhao then moved to a Xinhua question about Africa.
While most of Zhao’s response was the same formulaic messaging that he’s used in the past, the spokesman introduced a new line of critique, saying that any effort by the U.S. to challenge China’s ties in Africa “won’t make America great again.”
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