China mocks "beautiful sight” of US Capitol chaos

Thursday, January 07, 2021

China’s foreign ministry mocked the storming of the US Capitol by mobs, comparing the chaos to Hong Kong protesters’ siege of the Legislative Council Complex back in 2019.

In a daily press briefing on Wednesday afternoon, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that although the scenes in Washington “looked familiar,” US politicians and media gave a complete contrary response.

“Radical protesters violently stormed the Legco Complex, but the Hong Kong police were highly professional and exercised a high level of restraint, and thus did not cause any deaths. The incident in Washington was not as serious, but still a few protesters died,” Hua said.

“US mainstream media used ‘violence’ and ‘rioters’ while reporting on the incident, but glorified protesters in Hong Kong as democracy heroes. The reasoning behind this is definitely food for thoughts,” she added.

Netizens in China also erupted in mirth at America’s troubled democracy, with some calling the scene “a beautiful sight to behold” in reference to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s June 2019 comment about Hong Kong’s mass pro-democracy demonstrations.

On today’s early morning, state media Global Times ran a side-by-side photo comparison of Hong Kong protesters occupying the Legco Complex with the Washington riots protesting the election defeat.

“[Pelosi] once referred to the Hong Kong riots as ‘a beautiful sight to behold’,” the Global Times said in the tweet.

“It remains yet to be seen whether she will say the same about the recent developments on Capitol Hill.”

China’s Communist Youth League also described the unrest as a “beautiful sight” on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

The hashtag “Trump supporters storm US Capitol” pinballed across Weibo today, racking up 230 million views as users compared the global support for Hong Kong’s protesters with the outpouring of condemnation for the pro-Trump mob.

“At present, all European countries’ leaders have shown double standards and condemned it (Washington rioting),” said one Weibo comment, which gained over 5,000 likes.

“I don't know what kind of double standard reports will be published in Hong Kong or Taiwan media this time.”

In Hong Kong, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan also criticized US politicians for applying double standards in their response to the situation in the SAR.

“Those who gatecrashed the Capitol are rioters, while those who damaged legislatures elsewhere are warriors fighting for democracy,” Quat said.

“This shows that the US has been applying a double standard, and it is now getting a taste of its own medicine,” she added.

However, an American teacher who has lived in Hong Kong for 16 years and supports the Democrats, disagreed, saying that there are differences between the two incidents.

“They are not similar. In Hong Kong, protesters were demanding democracy, while those in the US were subverting democracy,” she said.

“Also, Hong Kong protestors didn’t storm Legco while lawmakers were in session counting votes and they didn’t have guns and zip ties to take hostages. They wanted the government to change, but US protesters wanted to overthrow an election,” she added.

Hong Kong protesters stormed the Legislative Council Complex to demand democracy on July 1, 2019 -- the 22th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover.

The siege cost the legislature HK$40 million in repairs. Trump said at the time that he felt sad about the unrest in Hong Kong, but added that it showed Hongkongers are hoping for democracy.

But the opposite appears to be the case, with Beijing imposing a National Security Law in Hong Kong and recent crackdowns on Hong Kong pro-democracy figures and activists by the police.