China fired back at the United States’ concerns with Hong Kong’s freedom by pointing directly at the racial unrest that has exploded in America, simply tweeting, “I can’t breathe”.
Tweets from Hua Chunying, a foreign ministry spokesperson, came as the U.S. struggles with nationwide riots that have erupted in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
Her “I can’t breathe” attack touched a nerve as both Floyd and Eric Garner — both unarmed black men — uttered that expression moments before they died, while facing what many believe was excessive force by police.
State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortegus had castigated China for the way it treated Hong Kong protesters. “Freedom-loving people around the world must stand with the rule of law and hold to account the Chinese Communist Party, which has flagrantly broken its promises to the people of Hong Kong,” Ortagus said.
That tweet was just the latest in an apparent strategy of China accusing the U.S. government of hypocrisy as it faced criticism for the way it countered pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong. Most recently, President Trump has announced that he would block Hong Kong’s trading privileges after China’s ceremonial parliament voted to bypass the semi-autonomous territory in enacting national security legislation.
In another tweet, Hua posted a segment from RT, which is funded by the Russian government, blasting the U.S. for supporting violent protests in Hong Kong while denouncing rioters as “thugs.”