Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is getting flak for repeatedly bowing to a Chinese official on Saturday while visiting Beijing.
Yellen is seen shaking hands with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng in a short video clip that was released by Reuters while grinning and bowing three times. He Lifeng did not bow throughout the exchange.
“Never, ever, ever,” Bradley Blakeman, a top White House aide to President George W. Bush, told The New York Post in response to the exchange. “An American official does not bow. It looks like she’s been summoned to the principal’s office, and that’s exactly the optics the Chinese love.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen greets Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng in Beijing earlier today pic.twitter.com/iYcA7Jmuz6— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 8, 2023
Additionally, the source reported Bowing is not considered proper protocol, according to emeritus professor of law and government at New York University Jerome Cohen.
Others on social media expressed their disdain when the video of Yellen bowing was uploaded by numerous accounts, including one for the Republican National Committee, despite other people saying the performance was insignificant.
“I can’t stand this woman,” tweeted defense attorney Marina Melvin. “BTW she’s bowing to him because she genuinely wants to. It’s natural for her. She’s an obsequious commie lover.”
Grabien founder Tom Elliott said, “Her bowing is an embarrassment to every non-communist American.”
“How many times does she think she has to bow?” asked New York Post columnist Miranda Devine, who added a “grimacing face” emoji
How many times does she think she has to bow? 😬 https://t.co/NAvHnLRjCf— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) July 9, 2023
Yellen had an introductory meeting with He to “build on” U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s “guidance to deepen engagement between key senior officials on macroeconomic issues,” said a readout from the Treasury Department.
“The meeting was candid, constructive, and comprehensive,” the readout added. “While raising issues of concern, Secretary Yellen discussed the Administration’s approach to seek healthy economic competition with China, with a level playing field for American workers and businesses. They also exchanged views on global and domestic macroeconomic outlooks.”
The readout continued, “Secretary Yellen also conveyed that even when the United States and China have disagreements, it is vital that the two countries find ways to work together on issues of shared – and global – concern, including debt distress in low-income and emerging economies and climate finance.”
According to The Washington Post, Yellen flubbed He’s name, calling him “Vice Premier Hu,” as they spoke about shoring up ties between their respective nations during a time of rising tensions.