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China trolls Trump for ‘hiding behind Secret Service’ during George Floyd protests

Demonstrators protest against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
June 04, 2020

Chinese Foreign Ministry officials and state media outlets have taken jabs at the United States and President Donald Trump in recent days, criticizing the U.S. responses to violent and destructive demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in police custody last week.

After protests appeared near the White House Friday night, China’s Global Times editor Hu Xijin tweeted criticism of Trump for having the Secret Service respond to demonstrators.

“Mr. President, don’t hide behind the Secret Service. Go to talk to demonstrators seriously. Negotiate with them, just like you urged Beijing to talk to Hong Kong rioters,” Xijin tweeted.

Xijin also tweeted Saturday, asking U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi if the Chinese government should support those demonstrating in cities across the U.S.

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“The ‘beautiful sight’ [defined] by US politicians has eventually extended from Hong Kong to the US. Now they can witness it by their home windows,” Xijin tweeted. “I want to ask Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Pompeo: Should Beijing support protests in the US, like you glorified rioters in Hong Kong?”

In a statement reported by Bloomberg, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian pointed to U.S. praise of Hong Kong protesters and then the struggles in the U.S. to contain its own demonstrations.

“Why does the U.S. beautify the so-called Hong Kong independence and violent elements as heroes and fighters while it calls its own people protesting against racial discrimination ‘rioters’?” Zhao said. “Why does the U.S. point fingers at the constrained law enforcement by Hong Kong police but turn a blind eye to what happens at home while using shooting and even the National Guard against the protesters?”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying tweeted “I can’t breathe” in response to a statement by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, calling for countries around the world to oppose the Chinese Community Party’s plans to expand national security legislation over Hong Kong.

Twitter is blocked by Chinese censors, though some Chinese Foreign Ministry officials do have accounts they can use.

“U.S. politicians call riots in other countries ‘a beautiful sight,’ they ignite flames everywhere and wish the world to be in chaos,” a broadcaster for Chinese Central Television (CCTV), a state media outlet said Saturday. “But when the minority groups in their own country are fighting for legitimate rights, they cannot wait but to crackdown harshly. Such hypocritical double standards are truly disgusting.”

In Hong Kong, police have arrested hundreds of protesters opposing efforts by mainland Chinese lawmakers to expand broadly defined laws punishing “sedition” and “terrorism” in the city.

China’s criticism of the U.S. handling of demonstrations also came ahead of the anniversary of the June 3-4, 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. Mothers of protesters who died during the 1989 incident recently published their annual letter to the Chinese government, requesting answers as to what caused the incident and who ordered the violent crackdown.