AP Photo/Kevin Hagen
China has been furious at the US government for criticizing its handling of protests in Hong Kong and for backing pro-democracy demonstrators.
Over the weekend, state-run media made the most of the current protests in America, sparked by the police-related death of George Floyd.
On Saturday, the editor-in-chief of state-affiliated newspaper Global Times compared the two, saying both groups of protesters broke the law and caused destruction.
“US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once called the violent protests in Hong Kong ‘a beautiful sight to behold,'” he wrote. “Now, the ‘beautiful sight’ is extending from Hong Kong to over a dozen US states.”
China’s state media is harnessing the current wave of protests across America to call out the US government for ‘hypocrisy’ after it criticized China’s handling of Hong Kong protests last year.
Beijing has been outraged at the US for criticizing how it handled months of protests in Hong Kong — including the White House openly supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
The protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a 45-year-old black man who died after a white officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.
Associated Press/Mike Stewart
On Saturday, Hu Xijin the editor-in-chief of the Chinese state-affiliated newspaper Global Times, published an article claiming the protests that swept through Hong Kong had spread to the US.
“US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once called the violent protests in Hong Kong ‘a beautiful sight to behold,’ he wrote. “Now, the ‘beautiful sight’ is extending from Hong Kong to over a dozen US states.”
“US politicians now can enjoy this sight from their own windows,” he added.
Xinhua, a Chinese state-run agency, described the protests as “Pelosi’s beautiful landscape,” according to the South China Morning Post.
Hu compared the two movements, saying both groups broke the law and caused destruction. Yet the US condoned those in Hong Kong, and saw the protests in the US as unacceptable, according to The Guardian.
It was “as if the radical rioters in Hong Kong somehow snuck into the US and created a mess like they did last year,” he wrote.
Miguel Candela / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
This statement is likely tied to a claim the Chinese government made in 2019 that foreigners were to blame for much of the protests in Hong Kong.
On Sunday, Hu took it further, writing that he suspected Hong Kong protesters had “infiltrated American states” and that “vicious Hong Kong rioters obviously are [the] mastermind of violent protests across the US.”
According to The Guardian, Hu was then accused of backing conspiracy theories.
On Sunday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying leaped in when she tweeted: “I can’t breathe” with a screenshot of a tweet from State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, which said China had “flagrantly broken its promises to the people of Hong Kong.”
—Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) May 30, 2020
That same day, the People’s Daily shared videos on Weibo of CNN journalist Omar Jimenez being arrested during a live broadcast of a protest. The Chinese newspaper compared the footage with a clip showing Hong Kong police leaving a protest last year, with a hashtag reading: “How restrained are the Hong Kong police.”
The state-run paper did not provide details, however, about complaints by Hong Kong journalists of police violence during protests in 2019.
Getty Images/Anthony Kwan
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lijan Zhao said China hoped the government “would take all necessary measures to deal with the violent law enforcement of police, so as to protect and safeguard the legitimate interests of racial minorities,” state-media outlet CCGTN reported on Monday.
It’s not the first time China’s state media has picked at the US in recent weeks.
In May, Chinese media latched onto comments made by President Donald Trump about when the US first started working on a vaccine for the coronavirus.
Outlets focused on Trump’s comment to dismiss international criticism it had delayed releasing vital information about the coronavirus.
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