Chinese state media ‘Global Times’, the English-language people of Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily, on Saturday expressed glee at the rioting and looting in the United States after African-American man George Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis last week. Taking a dig at the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remark on Hong Kong demonstrations where she referred to the protests as a ‘beautiful sight’, Hu Xijin, the nationalist editor Global Times said, “US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once called the violent protests in Hong Kong “a beautiful sight to behold.” 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 further questioned the US administration whether the Chinese government and National People’s Congress issue a statement to support the protests by African-Americans and the grassroots of US society. “If China does not support the protests in the US, how could the latter keep playing its Hong Kong card? After all, US President Donald Trump just announced Friday to impose sanctions against China over Hong Kong affairs,” he wrote.
The Global Times had on Friday reported that even Chinese netizens had referred to the rioting in the United States as a ‘beautiful sight’. As claimed by the CCP’s mouthpiece, one of the Chinese netizens even mocked the Hong Kong protestors by comparing China and US law and order situation by sarcastically asking the Hong Kong protestors to “take a better look at the country you are begging for help”.
Global Times claims that one of the Chinese netizen also aped the five demands of Hong Kong protestors and listed out what Minnesota citizens should demand from the US administration. “Five demands from Minnesota: release US citizens arrested during the protests; establish a supervision team to investigate US police; disband US ‘black cops;’ abolish US law on national security and the US presidential election system,” Global Times claimed.
George Floyd protests in the US
46-year-old African American George Floyd died after being pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes even as he pleaded that he can’t breathe. Soon after, widespread protests erupted which soon turned violent. On Saturday, the protests escalated nationwide which led to many cities to impose curfew. Demonstrators in Philadelphia also tried to topple a statue while they shut down highway traffic in Miami. On Saturday, US President Donald Trump urged Minnesota officials to get tough on protestors and even offered military support to control the situation.
Hong Kong protests
Until 1997, Hong Kong was ruled by the British as a colony but returned to China under the ‘One nation, two systems’ arrangement. In April 2019, the extradition bill was introduced which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China under certain circumstances. Opponents feared that this may expose Hong Kong residents to unfair trial and violent treatment and could be used to target activists and journalists.
In June 2019, protests erupted across Hong Kong against the plans to allow extradition to mainland China as critics feared that this could undermine Hong Kong’s judicial independence and endanger lives of those who dissent. The bill has been shelved, however, the protests took a pro-democracy shape with people demanding investigations for alleged police cruelty.
The protests turned violent where protestors fought officers with poles, petrol bombs and other projectiles. Police also shot a protestor and another man was set on fire by anti-government protestors.