China’s state-run media quickly seized on the obsessions of their American counterparts over the weekend by linking President Donald Trump to “white nationalism” and blaming gun violence on the large supply of firearms and loose gun laws in the United States.
The Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times worked the “white supremacist” angle on Sunday, citing the manifesto left by El Paso, Texas, alleged mass murderer Patrick Crusius:
A hate crime is motivated by prejudice, and the victim is targeted because of their social group or race. Many US states have their hate crime laws. However, the number of hate crimes has increased in the US in recent years. This shows that US social conflicts are rising and the problem of racial discrimination is especially serious. The El Paso shooting has worsened fears of the increasing white supremacist threat in the North American country.
More importantly, although US President Donald Trump called the El Paso shooting a “hateful act” on Twitter, he has not yet recognized the seriousness of the white supremacist problem. What’s worse, white nationalism is deeply rooted in Trump’s mind. This can be seen from his attitude toward immigration, his insistence on building a border wall and his racist tweets. Instead of resolving the problem, he is even inciting white American people’s hatred.
The astute observer will note that China is not exactly eager to take in large numbers of migrants or refugees from beyond its borders. China takes border security very seriously, especially for the parts of its border that occasionally move further away from Beijing, deploys hardcore nationalist political themes on a daily basis, and is not gentle with minority populations or respectful of their beliefs.
One area where Communist China cannot be accused of hypocrisy is its advocacy of stricter gun control. The Global Times declared the U.S. “urgently needs gun control,” although it acknowledged that “if the shooters’ hatred is not eliminated, they can still use other weapons to vent their anger on innocent people.”
China’s state-run Xinhua news service published a lengthy article advocating gun control on Monday, quoting U.S. advocates who claim the “ubiquitousness of guns is the ‘prime problem’ behind gun violence” and calling for “stricter background checks.”
Xinhua found the political future of gun control in America uncertain, even after the weekend shootings:
Gun control is simply not on most voters’ radars in the lead-up to the 2020 elections, TV news personality and Republican strategist Ford O’Connell told Xinhua.
Polls that are conducted soon after the mass shooting tend to show an uptick in the number of Americans that believe gun control is a major issue, but those numbers significantly lessen once the shootings are gone from the news cycle.
Generally, only a small percentage of Americans view gun control as a major issue, while healthcare, jobs, and immigration top the list of voters’ priorities.
Although the Democrats may introduce bills on a national level, experts said they will not go far in a divided Congress.
Instead, the United States is more likely to see laws enacted on a state level rather than on a national level, O’Connell said, adding that the gun control issue will not decide the 2020 election.
Xinhua concluded by quoting the prediction of Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West that “gun violence is unlikely to change until Democrats hold the House, Senate, and the White House” because “most GOP lawmakers fail to take action because their constituents favor gun rights.”