China State Media Quotes Lincoln at Trump Admin: 'You Cannot Fool All the People All the Time'

A Chinese government newspaper sought to shame President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday by quoting Abraham Lincoln.

In a piece published in English in state-owned outlet People's Daily, the newspaper invoked a line widely attributed to President Lincoln, who is believed to have said during an 1858 debate: "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

The opinion column, which warns America risks its reputation by "promoting lies," comes as top U.S. diplomats such as the secretary of state have sought to censure China on the international stage.

During his recent visit to East Asia, where he met with leaders from Japan, India and Australia, Pompeo called for closer cooperation amid the Chinese Community Party's "exploitation, corruption and coercion" in the region.

Following that came criticism for Beijing at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee, where a statement by German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen on behalf of the U.S., U.K. and other mostly Western countries cited "grave concerns" about the treatment of ethnic Uigurs in Xinjiang as well as the Hong Kong security law.

Beijing's ruling Chinese Community Party—either through state media or government officials—dismissed both Pompeo's comments and the U.N. joint statement as "smears" and "lies.

"The conscience of U.S. politicians is being tested"

People's Daily describes the accusations of human rights violations as "groundless," with the paper further attempting to shame the Trump administration by citing proof of a poor pandemic response in Time and The Washington Post.

The column stated: "The Time magazine cover depicting virus particles coming out of the White House chimneys, hovering like a cloud of poisonous smoke, and with 210,000 American COVID-19 deaths, the conscience of U.S. politicians is being tested.

"The U.S. has become the worst-performing country in the world in terms of pandemic response, not caused by the allegation that China covered up pandemic information, but by the White House's consistent lies to Americans and its ignorance of the clear information from China.

"China has informed the U.S. about the pneumonia outbreak and prevention and control measures since Jan. 3. However, the White House played down the virus while knowing the severity of the disease and lost 70 days in the battle against COVID-19, said an article published by The Washington Post on April 4."

Strangling TikTok

The state newspaper then takes a swipe at Washington's recent interventions against Chinese short-video platform TikTok, which it claims the U.S. is "strangling."

"Pompeo and his colleagues often fabricate rumors under the cloak of national security and human rights," the author stated. "The U.S.' groundless accusations about national security risks are strangling the popular Chinese app TikTok.

"Similarly, the country has repeatedly oppressed Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE, as well as other Chinese apps including WeChat, under the pretext of national security.

"America's 'national security' is so important that it needs to be safeguarded by oppressing a Chinese short video company."

Xinjiang "fabrications"

The government newspaper goes on to call human rights issues in Xinjiang "fabricated," claiming no violent terror-related incidents have been reported in Xinjiang for 40 months, while the Uighur population in the autonomous region rose by more than a quarter from 10.17 million to 12.71 million between 2010 and 2018.

Failing to detail Beijing's exact policy exploits in the distant border region, the author added: "China's measures to fight extremism in Xinjiang have effectively safeguarded the rights to life and development of people of all ethnic groups in the autonomous region." The piece then cites an influx of tourists during last week's National Day holiday as evidence.

china qingdao covid-19 testing
A health worker (L) takes a swab from a resident to be tested for COVID-19 as part of a mass testing program following a new outbreak in Qingdao, Shandong, China, on October 14, 2020. Chinese government newspaper People's Daily blamed the U.S.'s coronavirus death toll on the Trump administration's 'politicization of the pandemic.' STR/AFP via Getty Images

"Will they feel ashamed of themselves?"

The opinion piece, the like of which has become a regular occurrence during the trade war and even more so since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, sought to draw historical comparisons between the allegations in Xinjiang and the U.S. "massacres" of "American Indians", concluding with the killings of Martin Luther King and George Floyd, as well as America's COVID-19 death toll.

The People's Daily opinion blames the "politicization of the pandemic" for the more than 210,000 coronavirus deaths in America, saying: "The U.S. will be nailed to the pillar of shame in history in terms of human rights."

Recalling President Lincoln's quote, the author asked: "When Pompeo and his colleagues visit the Lincoln Memorial, will they feel ashamed of themselves?"

"They don't think very highly of the Trump administration or me"

However, despite several critical pieces against America's top diplomat, Pompeo appears impervious to the tactic.

After an editor at China Daily—another paper owned by the Chinese government—accused him of being America's "Worst Secretary of State," Pompeo quickly shrugged it off during an interview with Greg Kelly on Newsmax TV.

"I've got some good news and bad news. We'll start with the bad news," Kelly said. "A major media organization has called you the worst secretary of state ever. But the good news is that's coming from the China state-affiliated media. (Laughter.) Which I think is possibly the greatest endorsement a U.S. secretary of state could get. Were you aware of that report?"

Pompeo answered: "I've seen what the Chinese media has said about me. It's state media, it's directed by General Xi Jinping and his fellow comrades. They don't think very highly of the Trump administration or me for the actions that we've taken to constrain their malign activities all across the world."