US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made a rare move on Saturday when she bowed to a Chinese official during her visit to Beijing.
The footage showed Yellen approaching Vice Premier He Lifeng — her Chinese counterpart — and bowing several times while enthusiastically shaking his hand.
Former White House staffer Bradley Blakeman, who served during the administration of President George W. Bush, told the New York Post that the move was inappropriate.
“Never, ever, ever…an American official doesn’t bow. It looks like he’s been summoned to the principal’s office, and that’s exactly the optics the Chinese love,” Blakeman said.
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Other Twitter users shared the same sentiment, calling the arrow embarrassing for the United States.
“He didn’t know that bowing as an American official was a breach of protocol,” author Max Murray writes on Twitter. “They don’t reciprocate. He even retreated to give him more space to kowtow.”
“Yellen’s China flubs won’t help the US stock market come Monday morning. Go home Janet!” “Taxifornia” author James V. Lacy wrote on Twitter.
During their meeting, He explained that the US is an irrational actor towards China.
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“We hope that the US side will take a reasonable and practical attitude, meet the Chinese side in the middle of the road, make joint efforts with China to maintain harmony between the two state leaders in their meeting in Bali, and put positive comments on. actions, to strengthen and improve China-US relations,” he said.
Yellen slowly returned, defending the actions of the United States to protect national security.
“The United States will take targeted actions to protect our national security,” Yellen said. “Even if we disagree with these actions, we will not allow disagreements to lead to disagreements, especially those arising from a lack of communication, which will unnecessarily worsen our bilateral economic and financial relations. “
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Fox News Digital reached out to the Treasury Department for a statement, but did not hear back.