China, Iran Taunt the U.S. Over Riots; Latest Tweet from Chinese Foreign Ministry Says 'I Can't Breathe'

FILE - In this June 8, 2018, file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Just months after clearing the way to rule in perpetuity president and ruling Communist Party leader Xi Jinping is best by a wave of economic, foreign policy and domestic political challenges. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

 

Hua Chunying relishes her position as the Director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Information Department. Chunying is also the Ministry’s spokeswoman and President Xi couldn’t have chosen a more loyal and faithful defender.

As the Chinese flu took hold and escalated across the U.S., Hua’s venomous propaganda became increasingly more bitter and outlandish. In March, for example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News, “China has allowed hundreds of thousands of people to leave Wuhan to go to places like Italy that’s now suffering so badly.” She responded by tweeting, “Stop lying through your teeth! As WHO experts said, China’s efforts averted hundreds of thousands of infection cases.”

Predictably, Hua and her CCP colleagues have been reveling in the riots that have spread across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death last Monday. Their latest campaign is to portray the U.S. as hypocritical because we have offered strong support to the Hong Kong protestors and we now condemn those who are “protesting against racism” in the U.S. Equating the two is quite a reach, but don’t forget these are the same people who tried to convince the world that U.S. soldiers brought the Wuhan virus to Wuhan, China last October.

On Saturday, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus took a shot at the CCP for their treatment of the Hong Kong protestors. Hua responded with the words spoken by George Floyd shortly before he died, which were, “I can’t breathe.”

Last week, China’s ceremonial parliament voted to “bypass Hong Kong’s legislature and develop and enact national security legislation on its own for the semi-autonomous territory.” In response, President Trump announced the U.S. will block Hong Kong’s trading privileges.

An op-ed appeared on Saturday in The People’s Daily, a state-run Chinese newspaper, which said, “This hegemonic act of attempting to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs will not frighten the Chinese people and is doomed to fail.”

Ken Moritsugu, a Beijing based writer for the Associated Press, reported:

Democracy activists and many legal experts worry that the laws could curtail free speech and opposition political activities.

The Chinese government issued no official response Saturday, but has said previously it would retaliate if the U.S. went ahead with its threat to revoke trading advantages granted to Hong Kong after its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

In Hong Kong, small groups of Beijing supporters marched to the U.S. Consulate on Saturday carrying Chinese flags and signs protesting “American interference in China’s internal affair” and calling Trump “shameless and useless.”

Elsewhere in the city, youthful activists including Joshua Wong held a news conference to welcome Trump’s announcement and try to downplay any economic fallout.

Taking advantage of this latest conflict, Hua posted the following tweet attaching an article from RT, a Russian-government funded media outlet. The piece attacks the U.S. for supporting the Hong Kong protestors while we call those who are setting our cities on fire thugs.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, weighed in too. Please.

Moritsugu spoke to Tara Joseph, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, who said, “It is now clear that Hong Kong is caught in the middle of major China-U.S. tensions. That is a real shame for Hong Kong and it will be a challenge in the months ahead.”

Last Wednesday, Pompeo notified Congress that Hong Kong “no longer has the high degree of autonomy that it is guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” framework.”

On Friday, Trump announced the U.S. would “begin eliminating the full range of agreements that had given Hong Kong a relationship with the U.S. that mainland China lacked, including exemptions from controls on certain exports.”

He said, “China has replaced its promised formula of one country, two systems, with one country, one system.”

Thus, the latest in a long series of conflicts has begun.

We’ll have to bear with Hua’s tweets, but at least the most egregious spokesman from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian, has been muted, to some degree. Zhao was behind the conspiracy theory that the virus was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. Army when 300 soldiers traveled there in mid-October for the Military World Games. On March 12, Zhao sent the following tweets:

This article is very much important to each and every one of us. Please read and retweet it. COVID-19: Further Evidence that the Virus Originated in the US.

CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!

The tweets reached a fever pitch and finally, the Chinese ambassador, Cui Tiankai, was called in to US Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell’s office to discuss his country’s “blatant, global disinformation campaign.”

A senior State Department official told CNN that Stilwell gave a very “stern representation” of the facts to the Chinese ambassador, who was “very defensive.” The official added, “the State Department believes that China is seeking to deflect criticism for its role in “starting a global pandemic and not telling the world.”

Either Ambassador Cui never believed the propaganda or else he had a change of heart following his meeting with Stilwell. Because, according to Bloomberg News, “an unusual public spat” opened up between Cui and Zhao over where and how the virus originated.

Someone obviously spoke to Zhao because shortly after Cui’s meeting with Stilwell, Zhao “struck a more conciliatory tone, posting a tweet with photos of cherry blossoms and a plea to unite to deal with the epidemic.” Meanwhile, Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor of the party’s Global Times newspaper, wrote that “whoever stirs up conflict between China and the US will be condemned by history.”

Stilwell served in the U.S. Air Force for 35 years before retiring in 2015 as a Brigadier General. If Hua’s propaganda should escalate, another meeting with the ambassador may be called for.