China’s embassy in France has slammed the country’s reaction to protests in Hong Kong, calling it hypocritical and arguing France should show empathy as China did when Paris was trying to cope with Yellow Vests.
The diplomatic mission was commenting on a statement issued by the European Union, and swiftly repeated by the French Foreign Ministry last week, after Hong Kong police used live ammunition against a protester in self-defence for the first time in four months of demonstrations.
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“We express our deep dissatisfaction and our profound contempt for the hypocrisy of the European statement and the darkness of the intentions of some vis-à-vis China,” China’s embassy said in a note on its website.
The EU urged Hong Kong authorities to show restraint and ensure the right of assembly for citizens, among other fundamental freedoms, as well as a proportionate response to protests.
Chinese diplomats accused the EU of “publicly glorifying the rioters and flouting police self-defence measures against their aggressors,” and questioned whether EU members actually wanted Hong Kong to “plunge into irreversible chaos.”
They raised the subject of the Yellow Vest protests in France, saying the country’s police force has firsthand and recent experience in dealing with protesters and being under constant criticism from a “malicious fringe of people” for their actions. “In these circumstances, we showed empathy for France. We would like it to show the same spirit towards us today,” the embassy said in its note.
The indignant statement from the Chinese Embassy comes as France’s Emmanuel Macron prepares to meet Xi Jinping in China next month.