China’s state-run propaganda newspaper Global Times gloated on Thursday in its coverage of a pro-Trump mob attacking the U.S. Capitol the day before, describing it as “karma” for Washington and a sign that American democracy has begun to collapse.
China is an authoritarian communist state; the Global Times regularly publishes editorials promoting authoritarian regimes as a superior form of government to representative democracies.
According to the propaganda outlet, Chinese “experts” believed that the riot on Wednesday “will mark the fall of the ‘beacon of democracy'” and that America would soon “perish.”
Individuals allegedly in D.C. to attend a march in support of President Donald Trump’s accusations of fraud broke into the U.S. Capitol building as Congress voted on certifying the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden, causing property damage and the evacuation of the Senate and House chambers. At least four people died in the incident, authorities later confirmed.
President Trump, who had addressed a crowd at a separate, peaceful rally in support of his allegations earlier that day, released a video message Thursday telling the rioters, “we love you, you’re very special” and affirming their “pain.”
Congress certified the electoral votes for Biden later that night after security restored order in the Capitol.
“The world is watching as U.S. allies feel disappointed when they saw the country that they used to admire descend into a huge mess,” the Times proclaimed. “Chinese observers said this is a ‘Waterloo to U.S. international image [sic],’ and the U.S. has totally lost legitimacy and qualification to interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs with the excuse of ‘democracy’ in the future.”
The Global Times also cited alleged Chinese “netizens” – users on heavily censored Chinese social media outlets like Weibo and WeChat – celebrating that America was receiving “karma” for having promoted democracy around the world.
“This proves that the U.S. political system is unable to contain the U.S. leader or politicians with influence to incite ordinary people to challenge the system and the result of their ‘democracy,'” one alleged Chinese “expert” told the outlet. “The world is witnessing the ‘the beacon of democracy’ become gloomy.”
Like other Chinese mouthpieces – including China’s Foreign Ministry – the Global Times also compared the riot on Wednesday to events in Hong Kong in 2019. The autonomous city experienced peaceful protests attracting millions of people against a proposed law that would have allowed the government to extradite anyone to China if accused of violating Communist Party law. Under the “One Country, Two Systems” agreement, it is illegal for Beijing to impose communist laws on Hong Kong. Since those protests, the Hong Kong legislature tabled the extradition bill and Beijing’s National People’s Congress interfered with a law that mandates a minimum of ten years in prison for anti-communist dissidents.
The most often cited individual event of the 2019 Hong Kong protests in comparison to the pro-Trump Capitol riot is the storming of the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) building in July of that year. Protesters destroyed the voting chamber to prevent lawmakers from passing the extradition law and spray-painted pro-democracy messages all over the building. Many reports notably surfaced at the time of the protesters ensuring not to destroy historical artifacts or records and leaving money by the vending machines when taking drinks in the legislative cafeteria.
“Chinese web users still remember the distress and anger they felt when they saw rioters in Hong Kong storming the LegCo Complex, scrawling graffiti, smashing and robbing items,” the Global Times noted. “However, instead of condemning the violence, U.S. politicians hailed the ‘courage’ of these mobs.”
“Many Chinese netizens ‘confessed’ in their comments that they saw the ‘chaos in the U.S.’ as revenge. After inciting so much chaos around the world under the pretext of ‘freedom and democracy,’ the U.S. finally tasted the ‘karma’ of its double standards,” the propaganda outlet asserted.
The article echoed spokeswoman Hua Chunying’s remarks at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday.
“If you still remember how some U.S. officials, lawmakers and media described what’s happened in Hong Kong, you can compare that with the words they’ve used to describe the scenes in Capitol Hill,” Hua told reporters in response to a question about the violence in Washington, DC. “I made a note of some words they used. They all condemned it as ‘a violent incident’ and the people involved as ‘rioters,’ ‘extremists’ and ‘thugs’ who brought ‘disgrace.'”
“Now compare that with what the Hong Kong violent protesters were called, like ‘a beautiful sight’ you brought up and ‘democratic heroes.’ … What’s the reason for such a stark difference in the choice of words?” Hua asked. “Everyone needs to seriously think about it and do some soul-searching on the reason.”
Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, published his own commentary Thursday, declaring that America was experiencing a political “cancer” and that the American constitutional system was too weak to remain in existence for long.