Hillary Clinton embraced her brawl with the Chinese government after criticizing President Xi Jinxing for co-hosting a summit on women's rights
"If China believes defending women's rights is 'rabble rousing,' then they can expect much more of it from me," she said
Hillary Clinton on Wednesday jumped on an editorial in a state-run Chinese newspaper that said she was a “rabble rouser” over her advocacy of women’s rights in China, promising that “they can expect much more of it from me.”
Clinton criticized Chinese President Xi Jinxing on Sunday for co-hosting a summit on women’s rights at the annual United Nations meeting while restricting women’s rights activists in his own country.
“Xi hosting a meeting on women’s rights at the UN while persecuting feminists? Shameless. #Freethe20 http://hrc.io/1KDkyFz -H,” Clinton tweeted, signing the note with “H” to indicate that the candidate herself, not her campaign, authored the message.
The #Freethe20 campaign refers to 20 women around the world who have been detained over their advocacy of women’s rights.
The next day, the English edition of Global Times, a state-run media outlet, ran an editorial that said Clinton was a “rabble rouser” who wanted to bash China to score 2016 points.
On Wednesday, Clinton said in a statement, “If China believes defending women’s rights is ‘rabble rousing,’ then they can expect much more of it from me.”
“I’m proud to stand with so many brave women in calling on China to release Wang Yu, Gao Yu, and Liu Xia, and to lift the remaining restrictions on the five feminist activists imprisoned earlier this year,” she added, referring to three Chinese dissidents who are among those listed in the #Freethe20 campaign.
The women right’s activists were detained earlier this year for campaigning against sexual harassment in China. Though they were released, the activists are still subject to surveillance and their activities are restricted.
As first lady in 1995, Clinton famously told the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing that “Human rights are women’s rights … and women’s rights are human rights,” a moment that rocketed her to political celebrity. Since then, she has repeatedly criticized China’s record on women’s rights, upsetting the Chinese government in April when she called the detention of women activists in China “inexcusable.”
But Republicans quickly contended Wednesday that Clinton’s tough talk on China is nothing more than show.
“Hillary Clinton talked tough on China the last time she ran for the White House only to back down as Secretary of State when it mattered most,” RNC spokesman Michael Short said.
CNN’s Tiffany Ap, Elaine Yu and Stephen Collinson contributed to this report