Florida Sen. Marco Rubio came to Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn's defense after a Chinese journalist called her "b**ch" on Twitter. The exchange of insults came on Thursday after Blackburn tweeted that China had a "5,000 year history of cheating and stealing" — in what can be seen yet another sign of deteriorating relations between Washington DC and Beijing.
Blackburn's tweet was met with sharp criticism from Chen Weihua, state-run China Daily's EU bureau chief. He called her the "most racist and ignorant" U.S. senator, before adding "a lifetime b**ch." The journalist posted another tweet calling the senator "B**ch" again.
Quoting Chen's second tweet, Blackburn called him Chinese President Xi Jinping's "puppet" and said that the U.S, will "not bow down to sexist communist thugs." She also added that China was an "expert at slaughtering populations" and cited Tiananmen Square and persecution of ethnic Uighur Muslims as examples.
Following this, Sen. Rubio defended Blackburn by quoting Chen's tweet and sarcastically saying: "Meet the #China Daily EU Bureau chief." The Chinese journalist responded to Rubio tweeting that the insult was "an understatement."
Apart from Chen, China's state-run Global Times newspaper's editor-in-chief Hu Xijin also criticized Blackburn's comments saying it was a pity her "cognitive level is still as low as a monkey's."
This is not the first time when Chen used insults for world politicians. Last month, he dropped the f-bomb on German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas for listing China as threats to the "transatlantic community" akin to climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. However, he deleted the tweet. But Thorsten Benner, the co-founder and director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, saved Chen's tweet.
"To preserve the now deleted "The f***king Maas" by @ChinaDaily EU bureau chief @chenweihua for posteriority on this historic day," Benner tweeted at the time.
The diplomatic relations between China and the U.S. strained considerably this year over the Covid-19 pandemic, trade, technology and human rights among other things. On Wednesday, Washington imposed a limit on visitor visas for members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families. The move drew further with a ban on Xinjiang cotton imports. Following the development, China Daily's editorial said that the damage between the two countries was "simply beyond repair."