A key Chinese state-media outlet is calling the violent protests occurring in several U.S. cities “retribution” for Washington’s support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
A column published over the weekend by Global Times, a newspaper known as a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, also suggested Beijing would be justified if it openly backed the protests in the United States.
The column written by Global Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin took aim at the Trump administration for threatening to impose sanctions on China over its new security law in Hong Kong. The newspaper also took aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and at U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mocking a statement she made nearly a year ago that pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong were “a beautiful sight to behold” at the time.
“Now, the ‘beautiful sight’ is extending from Hong Kong to over a dozen U.S. states. U.S. politicians now can enjoy this sight from their own windows,” said the Global Times column published Saturday, as protests over police killings of African Americans spread to several American cities.
The demonstrations and, in many cases, violent rioting, began last week in Minneapolis, where Mr. Floyd, a black man, died after being handcuffed and pinned down by a white police officer. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The Global Times column sought to characterize the situation as a regular feature of American society, asserting that “racial discrimination and social inequality in the U.S. have always been severe.”
“Look at how many poor, ethnic minorities have died of the novel coronavirus,” it said.
In classic pro-China propagandist fashion, the column characterized the current U.S. demonstrations as equivalent to protests against Chinese communist authoritarianism that have been rocking Hong Kong in recent years.
Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators have taken to the streets in the territory to push back against the Chinese communist government’s gradual moves to strip the global financial hub of freedoms and governmental autonomy that it has had for generations.
Citing the clashes occurring in American cities, the Global Times article claimed that it is “as if the radical rioters in Hong Kong somehow snuck into the U.S. and created a mess.”
“A quick question for Pelosi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Should the Chinese government and National People’s Congress issue a statement to support the protests by African-Americans and the grassroots of U.S. society?” Mr. Hu wrote. “It seems to be what Beijing should do according to the logic of Washington cheering for the rioters in Hong Kong.”
The column went on to suggest the U.S. protests were a kind of punishment for President Trump over his policy on Hong Kong.
The State Department outraged Chinese leaders last week by declaring that U.S. leaders officially assess that Hong Kong no longer enjoys the legal and economic freedom the Chinese government promised it would tolerate when Great Britain gave the territory back to Beijing back in 1997. Mr. Trump followed the declaration by threatening Friday to impose sanctions on China over its announcement of a new state security law aimed at crushing dissent in Hong Kong.
“Trump really had the nerve to make the announcement when a group of furious Washington citizens were storming toward the White House,” the Global Times column said Saturday. “Washington must have failed to anticipate that retribution could come that fast. It should be thinking about it though.”
The column went on to claim the U.S. political system is “declining” at an “accelerating” rate and sought to cast the authoritarian Communist government in Beijing as a superior.
“The odds of outbreaks of riots in the U.S. are much higher than they are in China,” it claimed. “How could politicians in Washington possibly define the disturbances in other countries as ‘beautiful sights’ publicly? It is stupid to do so simply because they want to attack China. Let’s wait and see which country will encounter more chaos.”