TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Saturday (Nov. 7) congratulated President-elect Joe Biden for his 2020 U.S. presidential election victory via Twitter, prompting the director of China Daily's Brussels bureau to respond with obscene language, triggering a flame war.
On Saturday, Maas took to the German Foreign Office Twitter account to congratulate Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their election victory. Maas wrote that his government looks forward to cooperating with the next U.S. presidential administration and that the two countries will be able to "solve many international challenges if we join forces."
Among the "challenges" Maas referred to joining forces on was China. He stated that he will put forth proposals on how the transatlantic community can close ranks on common issues including "players such as China, climate protection or the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic."
Obviously incensed by Maas' remark on teaming up on China, Chen Weihua (陳衛華), the EU Bureau Chief of Beijing's state-run mouthpiece China Daily, on Sunday (Nov. 8) posted a comment under the German leader's tweet which simply read "The f***ing Mass." Apparently feeling some remorse about the obscene tweet, Chen later that day deleted it and posted a new tweet in which he tried to justify his actions "I can see nothing but hate for China from Maas. It only applies to him."
That same day, Mareike Ohlberg, a senior fellow in the Asia Program of the German Marshall Fund, commented that Maas' call for working together with the U.S. on dealing with China will be an "uphill battle." Chen, still apparently in an agitated state, responded by writing that "China haters" have been trying to get such transatlantic alliances against Beijing for a long time and make "Germany and US poodle."
He countered that a long list of German companies, such as VW, BWM, Mercedes, Siemens BASF, and Bayer would resist a tougher stance on China. The propagandist from the atheist state then thanked "God" for making Angel Merkel "a brilliant leader."
Thorsten Benner, co-founder and director of the Global Public Policy Institute, that day posted a screen grab of Chen's initial, profane tweet "for posterity on this historic day." Chen then promptly blocked Thorsten from seeing his Twitter account.
Benner's tweet showcasing Chen's foul language soon gained 1,400 likes, 1,100 retweets, and 188 comments, including the following:
"Heiko Maas should put that in his profile."
"That is Chinese style. Only resort to violence when somebody points out their problems."
"This is the quality of CCP propaganda lol."
"This shows China is actually the new imperialism and fascism."
"The f***ing CCP."
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) November 7, 2020
Message to @JoeBiden by German FM @HeikoMaas on “closing ranks as transatlantic community with regard to players such as China” & on “West playing as a team again” ticks off Beijing propagandists. Good sign. https://t.co/c7nIAgB08d pic.twitter.com/NsBh9ZtxIa
— Thorsten Benner (@thorstenbenner) November 7, 2020
Don't get me wrong, I welcome this. But getting number 1 right will be an uphill battle. Germany isn't exactly known for its great China policy, and there will be A LOT of pressure on Biden to do a China reset from people with a lot more money than me. Zero room for complacency. https://t.co/iz14ELG1Xp
— Mareike Ohlberg (@MareikeOhlberg) November 7, 2020