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Thu Jan 7, 2021, 07:51 AM

Asia delights and despairs in Trump's Capitol siege

Chinese media take pot shots at America's damaged democratic prestige while India pleads for an orderly and peaceful transfer of power

Russia’s first deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, said that the scenes looked “Maidan-style,” a reference to the peaceful protests that brought down Ukraine’s Moscow-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, and which Russia claims fronted for a US-backed coup.


Sok Eysan, a senator and spokesman for the long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party – whose conduct at the 2018 elections was described by the White House as “neither free nor fair” and which has been rebuked by Washington for its close alliance with China – was quoted as asking, “If the US has election fraud and corruption, which country is cleaner?”


Global Times, the jingoistic Chinese state-run tabloid, tweeted photos comparing the scenes to the Hong Kong protesters who occupied the city’s Legislative Council in July 2019 in an attempt to denigrate the city’s pro-democracy protests. The tweets came on the same day that over 50 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were arrested by authorities.

Several Chinese media outlets mocked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her comment made in June 2019 that the Hong Kong protests were “a beautiful sight to behold.” Global Times retorted: “It remains yet to be seen whether she will say the same about the recent developments in Capitol Hill.


India’s twice-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his democratic advice in a tweet saying: “Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be subverted through unlawful protests.”

Charles Santiago, an opposition lawmaker in Malaysia who is also the chair of Southeast Asian bloc’s Parliamentarians for Human Rights, commented that to some it appears “the US has lost its moral authority to preach democracy and human rights to other countries.”


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