China compares U.S. Capitol riots with Hong Kong protests

Protesters occupy the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International Airport during a demonstration on August 12, 2019 in Hong Kong, China.

Anthony Kwan | Getty Images

BEIJING — China on Thursday tried to draw parallels between the U.S. riot on Capitol Hill and pro-democracy unrest in Hong Kong that took place two years ago.

Chinese state media avoided sharing too much opinion on the news, though state-backed tabloid Global Times showed photos of the chaos in both riots and highlighted what it said was a discrepancy in media coverage for both.

In response to the U.S. riots, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying compared the mobs on Capitol Hill with protests in Hong Kong in 2019, which saw large crowds storm and vandalize the legislative building in the Chinese city.

At the daily media briefing, she pointed to U.S. media descriptions of the D.C. riots as “violence” and a “disgrace,” and compared them to remarks made by U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi who once called the Hong Kong protests a “beautiful sight to behold.”

China’s Foreign Ministry urged “people to reflect on why some people and media in US gave different narrative on social turmoil in Hong Kong in 2019,” Global Times said in an English-language tweet.

Chinese-language state media downplayed the U.S. Capitol riots, reporting the news but stopping short of significant political commentary.

Four people died Wednesday when mobs stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., as angry supporters of President Donald Trump tried to delay the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden by Congress.

After hours of delay in the proceedings, Congress finally confirmed Biden’s victory early Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, police in Hong Kong arrested more than 50 pro-democracy individuals for their alleged violation of a new national security law, saying that they participated in an unofficial vote last year.

Beijing enacted the national security law last year as it tightened control on Hong Kong in the wake of large-scale protests that turned increasingly violent.

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