Chinese officials – further escalating diplomatic tensions with the United States – are criticizing the U.S. government’s response to anti-racism protests across the country that have descended into violence.Chinese officials have compared the U.S. unrest to the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong and called racial discrimination in the U.S. a “persistent social ill.”In Hong Kong, where Beijing is in the process of eliminating political and speech freedoms though new national security initiatives that U.S officials have denounced, top official Carrie Lam told reporters Tuesday that the American protests are an example of a “double standard.”Lam said U.S. officials, “are very concerned about their own national security, but on our national security … they are looking at it through tinted glasses.”Lam appeared to be referring to U.S. criticism of the violent response by Hong Kong security forces to political demonstrations in recent months.China exercises tight control over its citizens. Peaceful assembly to protest the government is not allowed; government censors scrub China’s internet, which is set off from the rest of the world by “the Great Firewall” for objectionable speech; religious groups are subject to government monitoring; and there are no independent courts. That has made the country one of the least free in the world, according to FILE – An African restaurant is closed along with other businesses in Guangzhou’s Sanyuanli area, where a neighborhood is in lockdown after several people tested positive for the coronavirus, in Guangdong province, China, April 13, 2020.Last month, many Africans living in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou A demonstrator addresses the crowd gathered in front of a fence surrounding Lafayette Park outside the White House in Washington as protests continue over the death in police custody of George Floyd, June 2, 2020.Footage of the current unrest in America has been widely disseminated in Chinese state media, which have long argued that the United States’ partisan politics make for chaotic governance.  In a series of tweets, Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-run Global Times, was trying to ridicule U.S. officials and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on June 19, 2019, described the Hong Kong protests as a “beautiful sight to behold” 10 days after an estimated half million people marched in Hong Kong. “Now they can witness it by their home windows,” he wrote.  “I want to ask Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Pompeo: Should Beijing support protests in the US, like you glorified rioters in Hong Kong?” For some analysts, China’s response to the protests sounds familiar to Beijing’s rhetoric on the coronavirus situation in the U.S. “As the relations are deteriorating between the two countries, China regards this as something they can take advantage of, something they can gloat [about]” said Ji Shuoming, a Chinese commentator now based in Hong Kong.  National security adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday said China is just one of Washington’s foreign foes trying to exploit tense race relations in the U.S. He told ABC’s This Week that he saw “a number of tweets from the Chinese today that are taking some sort of pleasure.”  “There’s a difference between us and you,” said O’Brien, speaking of foreign adversaries. “When this happens, we’ll get to the bottom of it and we’ll clean it up.”  

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