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Blinken deletes tweet saying ‘we stand with the people of Hong Kong’; replaces it with new message

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This week America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, reportedly posted a harsh tweet directed at China but then deleted it and replaced it with a seemingly softer one.

Posted Thursday, the original tweet read as follows: “Beijing should let the voices of all Hong Kongers be heard. The PRC’s disqualification of district councilors only weakens Hong Kong’s long-term political and social stability. We stand with the people of Hong Kong & continue to support their human rights & fundamental freedoms.”

He was reportedly addressing a recent decision by the CCP to disqualify seven pro-democracy Hong Kong district councilors by invaliding their oaths of office.

Look at a screenshot of the original tweet below:

(Source: Twitter)

By Friday morning, the tweet was gone. Instead, it’d seemingly been replaced by another tweet that some alleged was softer in tone.

“The PRC’s disqualification of seven pro-democracy district councilors undermines the ability of people in Hong Kong to participate in their governance. Governments should serve the people they represent. Decreasing representation goes against the spirit of Hong Kong’s Basic Law,” the new tweet reads.

Look:

The discovery that Blinken had deleted his original tweet and replaced it provoked accusations that he was trying to appease the Chinese Communist Party just like the NBA.

Look:

When questioned by Newsweek about why Blinken’s original tweet was replaced, a State Department spokesperson said it was all a big misunderstanding.

“The team that manages the Secretary’s twitter account mistakenly sent the tweet intended to come from the spokesperson. We fixed that error and tweeted from both accounts, speaking out about Hong Kong authorities’ disqualification of pro-democracy district councilors,” the statement reads.

“Suggestions that this administrative change was somehow motivated by political concerns is patently untrue. The tweets affirm—in words and in meaning—that the United States stands with the people of Hong Kong. We urge the PRC to allow the people of Hong Kong to meaningfully participate in their governance,” the statement continues.

The State Department spokesperson is Ned Price, and a glance at his Twitter profile does indeed turn up a tweet containing the exact same words that were seen in Blinken’s first tweet:

But this only raised further questions. Why, critics wanted to know, was it necessary for the secretary of state to tweet a “soft” version of the administration’s message and relegate the “harder” one to a spokesperson?

One Twitter user speculated this was done so that Blinken “can blame and fire” Price in case the CCP complain about the “harder” message.

That being said, the CCP has already complained.

“The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Friday strongly disapproved and firmly opposed the irresponsible comments from certain U.S. politicians on the HKSAR government determining the oaths taken by seven district council members invalid in accordance with law,” Chinese state media reported Friday.

“The spokesperson of the office said certain U.S. politicians smeared the Chinese central government and the HKSAR government, stood on the side of anti-China, destabilizing forces in Hong Kong and interfered in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs,” the report continued.

As of Saturday morning, Price still remained employed, but you never know …

Vivek Saxena

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