OPINION / VIEWPOINT
American democracy in desperate need of reinforcement at home
Published: Jan 19, 2021 08:18 PM

A sign reading "Area Closed" is posted on fencing outside the US Capitol on Sunday in Washington, DC. After riots at the Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation's capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will guard the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President. Photo: AFP

Today, I'd like to say something to the US embassy in China.

US media outlets are reporting that to safeguard the inauguration ceremony, Washington, DC has become a military camp. With an area of 177 square kilometers and a population of more than 700,000 people, the capital city saw the deployment of 25,000 National Guard troops. 

It can be expected that the troops are everywhere. So are high fences, barricades and security checkpoints. Armored vehicles are blocking the way, and subway stations and roads in key areas are closed. This is like a curfew that Washington, DC residents have never seen before. That's why some Chinese netizens ridiculed a photo in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with the troops, and said "this is a warm meeting between the US House speaker and senior military officials of the curfew troops."

How can an elected US president fear its people so much? There is much to be told. The US has cruelly "suppressed" the "insurrection" of those who stormed the Capitol Hill and continued to use heavy-handed means. In the face of such military gatherings, even the mainstream US media have felt frustration, because this by no means matches with the supposed US image as a beacon of the world.

The Chinese people are restrained. Chinese officials do not comment on the US power transition. Only a media person like me likes to comment. But hilariously, despite this, the US embassy in China shamelessly posted a Chinese tweet today, touting US sanctions on Hong Kong police officers who arrested a group of illegal primary candidates and declaring that "[it] stands with the people of Hong Kong." 

Standing with those arrested? That's barbaric. How would the US feel if the Chinese embassy in Washington at this moment declared to stand with the US protesters who say they are against "stealing the results of the US election"? Will Washington angrily accuse the Chinese embassy of interfering in the US' internal affairs and infiltrating the US?

The "serial explosions" of confused values in the US proves that the rear of US diplomacy is now in chaos. However, the US embassy in China is still showing off its arrogance, thinking that it lived decades ago when it could boss around China's internal affairs. The Chinese People's Armed Police Force did not even reach the city and People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison was not deployed when the unrest in the Hong Kong SAR was in its worst, and no one was shot dead by Hong Kong police during the protests that lasted long. However, five people died in one riot on Capitol Hill, and now 25,000 troops have converged on a tiny area of Washington, DC. 

The US embassy in China should look back and declare to "stand with the American people." Your democracy at home is in desperate need of reinforcements, and there is no better place for you to speak out today.

The author is editor in chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn
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