- GLOBAL SECURITY - Jan 8, 2021 -
2021-01-08 -- The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s propaganda machine stepped up a gear this week, mocking the United States after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Congress building in Washington as it prepared to vote on endorsing President-elect Joe Biden's win in November's elections.
The Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid with close ties to CCP mouthpiece the People's Daily, ran a slew of op-ed and opinion articles accusing the U.S. of hypocrisy after its politicians supported the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
It was especially keen to make a comparison with Wednesday's attack on Congress and the storming of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo) in a bid to secure universal suffrage and fight plans to extradite alleged criminal suspects to mainland China.
One article cited comments from Chinese internet users referring to "karma" in a reference to perceived U.S. support for the storming of LegCo, while state broadcaster CCTV's headline ran: "Mob storms Capitol Hill, U.S. democracy smashed!"
State-run news agency Xinhua was more measured in its coverage, reporting on outrage and shock at the attack, and quoting European and Canadian leaders' condemnations of the violence.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing on Jan. 7: "Some people in the U.S. reacted and used very different words to what happened in Hong Kong in 2019 and what took place in the U.S. today."
Hua referred to "a beautiful sight taking place in the U.S." in an apparent reference to U.S. House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi's description of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement as "a beautiful sight."
A Beijing-based academic who declined to be named for fear of reprisals said state media had given lavish coverage to Wednesday's storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters that left four people dead, including a police officer.
"They are deliberately confusing the reasons, demands and nature of the two incidents," the academic said. "For example, gangsters will break in to your home, and so will firefighters -- to fight fires."
"No honest person would confuse those two things."
Former Hong Kong lawmaker Nathan Law, now exiled in the United Kingdom, said the Hong Kong protesters had been fighting for social justice, and had run a disciplined and careful operation when they stormed the LegCo chamber on July 1, 2019.
Posting photos of messages left by protesters to warn others not to damage books and other items, Law said protesters had also left money for cans of soda taken from the cafeteria.
"Don't mess things up around here. We are not rioters," one hand-scrawled message read.