INTERNATIONAL

China compares U.S. violence to 2019 Hong Kong protests

Commenting on the violence in Washington and storming of the U.S. Capitol, China on Thursday said it “hopes the people in the U.S. can enjoy peace” as it compared Wednesday’s events with the protests in Hong Kong.

“We believe that the people of the United States want stability and peace, and hope they can soon enjoy security and stability, especially amid the grim situation brought about by the pandemic,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.

The Foreign Ministry as well as state media in China compared the developments in Washington to protests in Hong Kong, where in 2019 protesters had stormed the legislative headquarters.

Ms. Hua also tweeted a video of that incident on Thursday.

“While U.S. mainstream media denounced the protesters at the U.S. Capitol as ‘mobs’, they had called the violent protesters in Hong Kong ‘democratic heroes’, saying that the U.S. people were standing with them,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Ms. Hua as saying.

‘Thought-provoking’

“The stark contrast in the reactions and choice of words are thought-provoking and worthy of our reflection,” she said.

“What words did they use about Hong Kong? ... The mainstream media in the U.S. are condemning the incident, calling it ‘violence’, ‘thugs’, ‘extremists’, and ‘disgrace’. What words did they use to describe Hong Kong? ‘Beautiful sight’, or ‘fighters of democracy’,” added Ms. Hua.

Similarity with the protests in Hong Kong was a common theme in China’s state media’s coverage, even if the difference in contexts — between protesters who were looking to overturn a fairly contested election and those who were calling for direct elections and universal suffrage to be introduced in China’s Special Administrative Region — was left unsaid.

“Double standards are rampant,” said the Communist Party-run Global Times in an editorial.

“In Hong Kong, violent actions are described as a ‘beautiful sight’, in the U.S., people involved in this chaos are called ‘mobs’,” it said.