China has urged the United States to protect the "legal rights" of its ethnic minorities, following a series of protests that broke out in multiple cities over the death of an unarmed African-American man, George Floyd, after he was pinned down by a white police officer.
China says "black lives matter"
Speaking at a regular presser on Monday, June 1, in response to a question posed by Bloomberg on the ongoing nationwide protests, Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said "black lives matter", and that the "human rights" of African-Americans should be protected.
He said that racial discrimination in the U.S. remains a "social ill", and that the protests indicate the severity of the problems of "racial discrimination and violent law enforcement by the police" in the country.
"We hope the U.S. government will take concrete measures to fulfil its due obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to protect the legal rights of ethnic minorities in the U.S.," he said.
Zhao further said that China stands with Africa to firmly oppose "all forms of racial discrimination, including inflammatory comments of racial hostility and hatred".
In response to what happened in the US, heads of @_AfricanUnion and many African countries have called for justice against racial discrimination. China stands with the African side in their just cause and will work with them to oppose all forms of racial discrimination. pic.twitter.com/pnyljEMkfs— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) June 1, 2020
China trolling the U.S.
China has been rubbing salt into America's wounds over its persistent problem of systemic racism, and the Trump administration's widely perceived ineptitude in handling the protests that erupted.
Zhao's colleague, Hua Chunying, had tweeted the words "I can't breathe" on Saturday, May 30, along with a screengrab of a tweet by Morgan Ortagus, the U.S. Department of State spokesperson.
"I can't breathe." pic.twitter.com/UXHgXMT0lk— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) May 30, 2020
Ortagus had previously condemned the Chinese Communist Party for failing to keep its "promises" to the people of Hong Kong with the newly proposed national security law.
The Beijing law is perceived by anti-government protesters in Hong Kong to be an infringement of the Basic Law -- Hong Kong's mini constitution -- that supposedly guarantees a high level of autonomy in the city without direct intervention by Beijing at least till 2047.
Pro-government supporters, however, had voiced their approval of the law, as it will purportedly restore calm to the streets of Hong Kong.
China: U.S. should stand with violent American protesters like it does with Hong Kong rioters
Hawkish Chinese state media had also published an editorial by its editor-in-chief Hu Xijin, that was headlined "U.S. should stand with Minnesota violent protesters as it did with HK rioters".
Such Chinese responses highlight the perceived hypocrisy and double standards of the U.S. when it comes to dealing with its own civil unrest as compared to similar demonstrations occurring elsewhere in Hong Kong, a matter that China has repeatedly said is within its internal affairs.
Some pundits have said Hong Kong is a pawn in the big-power rivalry between the U.S. and China.
The U.S. has announced that Hong Kong's special trading status will be revoked, following an assessment by State Secretary Mike Pompeo that the Special Administrative Region is no longer autonomous from mainland China.
Top image via China's Foreign Affairs Ministry