Mr Farage has been a regular critic of China since the emergence of COVID-19 towards the end of 2019. And his activity on Twitter appears to be catching the attention of senior figures within the Chinese establishment.
Chen Weihua, the EU Bureau Chief of the state-run China Daily newspaper, posted: “This lunatic Farage has been regarded by many of his countrymen as a threat to the UK, and seen in Brussels as a laughing stock in Europe.”
The singling-out of individual western politicians by Beijing is an unusual move which would appear to indicate that the Brexit Party leader is currently on its radar, given it would be highly unlikely Chen would have acted without the blessing of President Xi Jinping’s regime.
Chen’s remarks expanded on remarks by him at the weekend made in response to a video posted by Mr Farage in which he announced a campaign to ensure the UK was “no longer dependent on China”.
Mr Farage tagged Chen in his tweet as “Chinese state media” – and Chen wasted little time responding.
He said: “This is like Mr Farage standing in the middle of the railway trying to stop the incoming train. The result: He is crushed.
“BTW, Chinese bullet train runs much faster.”
They are a threat to our freedoms and the freedoms of other nations.”
He stressed that his “next campaign is to make people understand who China are and what the Chinese communist party is doing.”
He added: “I want to make sure we are no longer dependent on China.”
Chen’s reference to Mr Farage being a laughing stock was likely a reference to his numerous clashes on the floor of the European Parliament, notably with former sparring partner Guy Verhofstadt.
Mr Verhofstadt has targeted Mr Farage on numerous occasions over the years.
Last year, after Mr Farage confirmed he and 28 other Brexit Party candidates would be seeking election to the European Parliament, he tweeted: “Farage is a long sitting, career MEP in Brussels, with one of the lowest attendance rates.
“He would rather sign in & go to the pub than fight for British interests in Europe.
“Sending him back would be insane!”
In an illustration of Mr Farage’s concerns about China’s authoritarian tendencies, Hong Kong police today arrested 53 people in dawn raids on democracy activists in the biggest crackdown since China last year imposed a new security law which opponents say is aimed at quashing dissent in the former British colony.
Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy advocates were arrested in raids on 72 premises as the authorities said last year’s unofficial vote to choose opposition candidates in city elections was part of a plan to “overthrow” the government.
The arrests were linked to an unprecedented, independently organised and non-binding vote to select opposition candidates for a since-postponed legislative election.