Matt Pottinger: "The Chinese government was not sharing useful data with anyone in the world. The World Health Organization was parroting misinformation about this virus. They…were claiming that it is not featuring significant human-to-human spread."
Pottinger: "I was able to call doctors on the ground in China in late January. And they were already telling me, look…Half of the cases or more are asymptomatic. That was a different story from what the Chinese government was telling."
@margbrennan Pottinger: "If you weigh the circumstantial evidence, the ledger on the side of an explanation that says that this resulted from some kind of human error, it far outweighs…the side of the scale that says this was some natural outbreak."
@margbrennan Q: You…told President Trump at the end of January that this would be the greatest national security threat that he ever faced. Did he understand…?
POTTINGER: I think he did…To the president's credit, he decided to shut down travel from China.
@margbrennan Q: So you knew enough to call a foreign government to ask for masks, but the American public wasn't being told yet to wear them and the president wasn't…How do you make sense of that?
POTTINGER: Yeah, it's frustrating. The…mask misstep cost us dearly.

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More from @JChengWSJ

9 Feb
And poof. Just like that, Clubhouse—and its rare outpouring of freewheeling debate on taboo topics in the Chinese-speaking world—appears to have been cut off in mainland China. A lovely requiem for the hit Silicon Valley audio-only chat app by @xinwenfan
@xinwenfan On Monday evening, Clubhouse users from Beijing to Shenzhen said their chats—some of which touched on the plight of China’s Uighur Muslims or the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989—were disconnected mid-conversation, replaced by an error message.
@xinwenfan Thousands then quickly swamped newly created Clubhouse chat rooms to confirm the blockage after climbing back in using VPNs to circumvent China’s internet firewall. After trading notes, they concluded Chinese censorship was the likely culprit.
Read 8 tweets
22 Sep 20
How can you ensure that Xinjiang factories aren't using forced labor? You can't, an increasing number of Western supply-chain auditing firms are concluding—a move that could force Western businesses doing work there to exit the region.
@evawxiao Five organizations—from France, Germany, Italy and two from the U.S.—have said they won’t provide labor-audit or inspection services in Xinjiang. The withdrawal of auditing groups adds to the difficulty for brands working with Xinjiang-based suppliers.
@evawxiao Auditors face a range of challenges in Xinjiang. Auditors have reportedly been detained or threatened by Chinese authorities. Auditors may have to use government interpreters who convey misinformation when they are visiting factories employing Uighurs.
Read 5 tweets
21 Sep 20
Mike Pompeo: "The single rule is this: We don’t want American data in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party…It will end up in the hands of their MSS, their security apparatus, their military, their civil-military fusion programs."…
Pompeo: "The transaction around TikTok, I’ve seen the outlines of it…This deal…will ensure that no American’s data has any access to anyone in China that has any capacity to move this to a place we don’t want it. We will ensure…that firewall is real."
Pompeo: "Whether there is still some Chinese ownership or they still collect a royalty check from the benefits of the business, there will be an American headquarters…controlled by Americans. And the data…will be in a place that we have confidence."
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep 20
Fraying ties between Beijing and the West have become the biggest worry for U.S. and European businesses in China, reports from a pair of business groups said this week. “This Beijing-Washington dialogue—they need to work this out."
@Trefor1 @AmChamSh
@Trefor1 @AmChamSh Worsening bilateral ties now overshadow the rise of Chinese competitors (58%), China’s slowing economy (49%) and increasing labor costs (38%) as the main source of anxiety for U.S. companies operating in China.
@Trefor1 @AmChamSh The European Chamber is also concerned. “There now seems to be a growing list of sectors that either restrict foreign investment, or in which support is provided to China’s national champions to the extent that it squeezes out any potential…competition."
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep 20
The Australians' accounts suggest new levels of intimidation of foreign media, raising fears that as ties fray between China and the West, Beijing is less constrained in acting against foreign citizens in the country.
@Chao_Deng @RachelPannett @PhilipWen11
@Chao_Deng @RachelPannett @PhilipWen11 “What we are witnessing is the greatest deterioration in China’s media controls in decades and that will leave a vacuum of credible reporting at a critical time…It presents a gravely concerning picture of authorities who desire total control.”
@Chao_Deng @RachelPannett @PhilipWen11 @IFJGlobal Chinese state media reported Tuesday that Australian law enforcement seized the computers and mobile phones of Chinese journalists suspected of violating the country’s law against foreign interference. One said the raids took place on June 26.
Read 4 tweets
5 Sep 20
Senior Chinese diplomat Lu Kang on Meng Wanzhou and Sino-Canadian relations: "This is an issue that could bring about more opportunity costs for the Canadian Government and for our bilateral relationship in general."
@nvanderklippe h/t @felixliuworld
@nvanderklippe @felixliuworld Q: If they are not hostages, then why were they arrested so quickly together on the same day after Meng Wanzhou?
Chinese diplomat Lu Kang: Actually for today’s world, that happens…You can’t just link everything together.
@nvanderklippe @felixliuworld Q: Is this the goal of China’s foreign policy to make other countries fear China?
Lu Kang: That is never our policy. And that is not the whole picture for Chinese diplomacy…Don’t just focus on a couple of countries…It just happens…there are some issues.
Read 5 tweets

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