A US State Department spokeswoman has labelled China a ‘thuggish nation’ for publishing a secret photo of a US diplomat having a talk with student leaders of Honk Kong’s Pro-democracy movement, including the personal details of the diplomat in the newspaper.
“I don’t think that leaking an American diplomat’s private information, pictures, names of their children, I don’t think that is a formal protest, that is what a thuggish regime would do,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told a briefing on Thursday.
The sharp denunciation came amid surging tension between Washington and Beijing over an expanding trade war and military rivalry in the western pacific.
Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao, Communist Party-controlled media, published the news under the headline, “Foreign Forces Intervene” with a photo of the US diplomat who it identified as Julie Eadeh of the consulate’s political section, talking with student leaders in the lobby of a luxury hotel.
Hong Kong office of China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday asked the United States to explain reports in Communist Party-controlled media, blaming the US for convulsing Hong Kong for nine weeks.
On the other hand, Ortagus questioned the step taken by the country over disclosing a diplomat’s personal information in the media. “That is not how a responsible nation would behave.”
Further, she added that it was the job of U.S. diplomats and those from other countries to meet with different people, including opposition leaders.