The ongoing protests in US over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man in police custody by a white policeman last week in Minneapolis has rocked the country. As the situation turned volatile, with increasing confrontation between troops and protestors, China jumped in to mock the US’ flawed democracy.
China, which has been battling with pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, backed by US, accused Washington of ‘double standards’, for the latter fired tear gas on its own people, while standing for Hong Kong protestors in the name of restoring liberalism and freedom of speech.
On Monday, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, in the country’s first official statement against US president’s handling of the unrest, called out the US for hypocrisy. He said that US officials, who glorified Hong Kong protestors as ‘heroes’, were referring to their protestors as ‘thugs’.
Zhao added,“The racial discrimination against minorities is a social ill in the United States. What happened again reflects there are serious problems that should be urgently addressed.”
Hu Xijin, the editor of the Global Times, which is considered as the Communist government’s mouth piece, through a series of tweets criticised US officials including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for supporting Hong Kong protestors. He questioned Pelosi, who after seeing about half a million people marching on roads in Hong Kong called it a “beautiful sight to behold“.
“Now they can witness it by their home windows,” he wrote. “I want to ask Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Pompeo: Should Beijing support protests in the US, like you glorified rioters in Hong Kong?”
Beijing is using the current scenario of chaos in Washington to counterattack US. Many Chinese officials promote slogans like ‘I can’t breathe’ (which were the last words of Floyd) and ‘the black lives matter’ on social media forums.
In an interview, Hu said that Trump’s defensive attitude towards coronavirus pandemic and his offensive attitude against racial unrest had strengthened confidence among many in his country in Chinese’s political system.
“It has made them believe that the government of this country really cares about people’s lives and well-being,” he said. “They see how the U.S. government and capital despise the lives and interests of vulnerable and marginalized groups.”
“The violent protests in the streets of urban America are further discrediting the U.S. in the eyes of ordinary Chinese,” said Susan Shirk, chair of the U.C. San Diego 21st Century China Center told the New York Times. “The propaganda depicts American politicians as hypocrites living in glass houses while throwing stones at China.”
“Even without the propaganda, Chinese people nowadays find little to admire in the U.S.,” she added. “As the U.S. model is tarnished, the voice of Chinese liberals is silenced.”
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