tirsdag 5. mai 2020

Trump Aide, Speaking in Chinese, Chides Beijing For Stifling China's Democratic Hopes

U.S. President Donald Trump‘s top Asia adviser deployed fluent Chinese Monday in a speech chastising China’s rulers for thwarting their people’s century-long quest for democracy--likening censored coronavirus doctors and Hong Kong protesters to key figures in “a long-running struggle for the soul of modern China.”

Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger used the anniversary of the May 4, 1919 protests--which were sparked by popular anger at the concession of a huge tract of Chinese territory to Japan after World War One--to raise concerns about Chinese repression and nationalism and to laud persecuted foes of Beijing. “The movement ignited by those students exactly 101 years ago was about much more than nationalist outrage at ‘unequal treaties,’” said Pottinger. “The movement galvanized a long-running struggle for the soul of modern China,” he said, as he gave a brief summary of what he called “heroes” in the modernization of China after the last dynasty fell in 1911.

Without touching on the specifics of thorny U.S.-China disputes over issues such as the origin and handling of the coronavirus pandemic, trade or geopolitics, Pottinger highlighted similarities between the Communist Party and authorities 100 years earlier in their response to democratic demands and reformist citizens.