Asia

China jibes US on human rights ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

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BEIJING: Chinese state media has been revelling in days of chaotic protests in the United States and highlighting President Donald Trump's threat to use troops, even as the anniversary looms of the Tiananmen Square incident 31 years ago.

For days, Chinese media has prominently covered the protests in the aftermath of the Minnesota police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, contrasting it with support from US politicians for protests in Hong Kong.

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Last year's Hong Kong protests, which sometimes turned violent, prompted Beijing last month to announce it would impose national security legislation on the former British colony.

Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily, said the United States was marking the Tiananmen anniversary "in a unique way".

"US military is being dispatched to the cities and police are opening fire. The US is proving the importance for China to restore order in 1989. But back then, the destruction of China's order was much worse than US now," he said in English on Twitter.

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The Jun 4 anniversary of the shooting by troops of student demonstrators in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, which rights groups and witnesses say may have killed thousands, is not publicly observed in the mainland and state media rarely mentions it in Chinese.

On Monday, Trump vowed to use military force if the US violence was not quelled.

"China has shown patience toward the Hong Kong riots," the Global Times wrote in an editorial, citing the security legislation as key to resolving the issue there.

"Does the White House believe that deploying the military can solve its deep-seated problems?"

China's tradition of "magnifying social malaise" in the West comes amid heightened US-China tension, said Yuan Zeng, a lecturer in Media and Communications at the University of Leeds.

"You can clearly see Chinese state media are using US unrest to justify China's move on HK National Security Law and to bash criticism from US," she said in a text message.

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