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Former U.S. Ambassador Labels Pompeo Speech on China a ‘Psychotic Rant’ in Interview with Chinese Propaganda Outlet

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, July 25, 2018. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Charles “Chas” Freeman, a veteran U.S. diplomat who served in East Asia and as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, slammed a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a “psychotic rant” in an interview Wednesday with a Chinese propaganda outlet.

In his July 23 speech at the Nixon Presidential Library, Pompeo said, “Securing our freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party is the mission of our time, and America is perfectly positioned to lead it because our founding principles give us that opportunity.”

The U.S. is upping its hostility toward China “as outlined in Pompeo’s psychotic rant of last Thursday,” Freeman told Chinese state news agency Xinhua on Wednesday. “China policy is now made by notable anti-China elements, who will have agreed with the many falsehoods and distortions of Pompeo’s rhetoric.”

Freeman has a long history of service in the State Department, and he was President Nixon’s Chinese interpreter during his visit to China in 1972. The former diplomat drew controversy in 2009 when he was nominated to be chairman of the National Intelligence Council, after Freeman wrote in an email leaked to the Weekly Standard that China was too restrained in its crackdown of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

“The Politburo’s response to the mob scene at ‘Tian’anmen’ stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action,” Freeman wrote at the time. “I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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