Back in 2019, when unruly demonstrators vandalized Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo), Democrat and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi felt extremely entertained. She even expressed her delight terming attack on LegCo as “a beautiful sight to behold”. Just in less than two years, her old mock turned into a huge slap on Pelosi’s face when anarchists broke into the Capitol and ransacked Pelosi’ office – she realized – it wasn’t beautiful at all. Instead, it was the worst-ever incident in the history of American democracy. Commenting on social media platform, Ann Chiang of DAB party wrote: “Today Pelosi’s office was occupied as well, American lawmakers can finally experience this democratic violence, and get a taste of what it is like for the legislature to be occupied”.
Chinese newspaper the Global Times also pointed to Nancy Pelosi’s 2019 mock and remarks. They shared a side-by-side comparison of scenes from the Hong Kong and US Capitol anarchism stating “It remains yet to be seen whether she [Nancy Pelosi] will say the same about the recent developments in Capitol Hill”.
Another lawmaker, Junius Ho commenting on the situation in Washington DC wrote: “Harm set, harm get. The US Capitol Hill was occupied by rioters, the situation was more serious than Hong Kong”.
Executive Council member Ronny Tong also made a sarcastic comment on the storming of the US legislature: “These scenes are so familiar… oh, it is in the US! That is strange, why no one is condemning police violence and give support to heroes and martyrs who are fighting for a ‘democratic election’?”
A Facebook group – Hong Kong Good News placed photos from US unrest and the LegCo storming next to each other, with a caption saying the chaos in the Capitol Building was “small-scale” compared to how Hong Kong protesters “rampaged” the local legislature.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the United States should reflect on why it adopted different positions on the two events.
She said the storming of the Hong Kong legislature was more “severe” than the events in Washington, but there were no fatalities among the protesters.
“In 2019, radical demonstrators [in Hong Kong] violently stormed the city’s Legislative Council building, wantonly damaged facilities, used toxic powders and liquids to attack and beat the police, and even [allegedly] bit a police officer’s finger off,” Hua said.
“Facing a situation like this, Hong Kong police had kept a high degree of restraint and no demonstrators died.
“Now the US mainstream media had unanimously criticized violent Trump fans in [Washington], saying it’s a violent event and those protesters are mobs, extremists … But what description did they use on the Hong Kong protest? ‘Beautiful sight’.”
Hua said that by hailing Hong Kong protesters as heroes and pledging to “stand with them” while taking a different position and using different labels to actions in the United States “deserves our serious contemplation”, adding that China still hoped the US could restore peace, stability and safety.
In an apparent reference to accusations of police brutality in Hong Kong, the city’s former chief executive Leung Chun-ying asked Hong Kong demonstrators in his social media page, “where do you want to protest, Hong Kong or the US?”.
Leung also asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo whether the US would extradite Brian Leung Kai-ping, a Hong Kong activist who took part in the storming of the city’s legislature and is studying in the US. During the Washington protests, Pompeo tweeted: “Putting at risk the safety of others including those tasked with providing security for all of us is intolerable both at home and abroad.”
Leung Chun-ying also mocked the blocking of Trump’s Twitter account due to “inaccurate and inflammatory posts”, saying it showed the US had no freedom of speech.
On Chinese social media platform Weibo, posts under the topic “Trump supporters storm US Capitol” were viewed by 640 million times, with commenters echoing the double standards line. All of them were also referring to Nancy Pelosi’s 2019 mock.
After the 2020 riots in the US, shall Pelosi ever mock with anyone ever in the future. Possible she will as in most cases, when people get infected to the habit of mocking on other’s sufferings or crisis – they continue to mock, mock and mock.