News Analysis

As fierce protests continue in the streets of Hong Kong, China’s Foreign Ministry is trying to cast blame on the United States.

The protests began in response to a controversial China-extradition bill that would expand the communist government’s ability to capture and extradite criminal suspects from Hong Kong. However, the month-long demonstrations now appear to be a heartfelt rebuke of mainland authoritarianism that goes well beyond a single piece of legislation.

The protests have certainly been noticed by members of China’s central politburo. Response from China’s communist government has been limited, seeking to downplay and mischaracterize graphic images that depict millions of peaceful demonstrators throughout the city and scenes of bedlam around the Hong Kong legislative complex.

After another series of clashes took place over the past weekend, China’s ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying tried to point fingers elsewhere, saying on Tuesday, July 23, “We can see that U.S. officials are even behind such incidents. So can the officials tell the world what role did they play and what are their aims?”

This is far from the first time that the Chinese communist government has tried to deflect criticism and contrive a false narrative. However, with world attention being cast from all directions, Beijing cannot hope for its latest spin to take hold.

The people of Hong Kong are struggling to maintain independence from the mainland. Many believe that pushing back the extradition bill is just one step in a long-term fight to preserve their basic freedoms. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has repeatedly asserted that the extradition bill is effectively dead. However, her promises have fallen on deaf ears for tens of thousands of demonstrators who continue to call for her resignation.

Just a few weeks ago, China state-run media were claiming that the protesters in Hong Kong were demonstrating against the United States, despite tens of thousands of people holding signs with anti-communist slogans.

President Trump has yet to take a strong position on the Hong Kong protests, as his administration seeks to hammer out a new trade agreement with China. He has even said that Chinese Party Secretary Xi Jinping is “doing a good job” in response to Hong Kong.

In this particular case, the president’s non-involvement in “China’s internal affairs” removes the possibility that the United States can be blamed, as millions in Hong Kong lash out against the CCP.

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