The editor-in-chief of the government-run newspaper, Global Times, Hu Xijin, accused United States President Joe Biden of hypocrisy after he criticized China over the shut down of Apple Daily in Hong Kong. While responding to the statement from Biden denouncing the closure of the pro-democracy newspaper, he said on Thursday that What about the Twitter account of Trump? He also asked, what about Parler?
Xijin was quoting Twitter’s decision to ban former U.S. President Trump over his role provoking the riot at the United States Capitol on 6th January, and the decisions of Apple and Amazon that they took to restrict access to Parler – a social media app, in the days after the Capitol incident. Furthermore, the editor accused the United States government of attacking democratic institutions & processes and denying fundamental rights and said that Trump and his supporters have an equal right to freedom of expression.
What about Trump’s twitter account? What about Parler? Trump and his supporters have the right to freedom of expression. Instead, Washington is denying basic liberties and assaulting democratic institutions and processes, inconsistent with its international obligations. pic.twitter.com/NJF4n0hX0C
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) June 25, 2021
Xijing also wrote that those who lament the shutdown of Apple Daily today, please also urge Twitter to restore the account of former U.S. President Trump. Otherwise, what they show is not the defense of freedom of the press but insufficient wisdom or unpredictable logic.
Background of the Xijin and Biden Criticism on each other’s Government
The criticism of Xijin misses a significant difference: Private companies restricted them from their platforms because of their bad behavior. On the other side, the Chinese government shut down Apple Daily. Furthermore, Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy publication newspaper announced that it would close its services on Wednesday because the new national security law of China frozen its assets. The government also arrested several journalists of the newspaper.
Additionally, the new law gives the government ample room to crack down on political freedom and allow officials to arrest Jimmy Lai, the founder of Apple Daily, last year. Biden called it a bad day for media freedom in Hong Kong and across the world. Growing suppression by China reached such as level that Apple Daily now stopped publishing. Biden asked Beijing to stop targeting the autonomous media and release the media executives and journalists that it detained under its new law.
Earlier this month, the Biden government asked Nigeria to lift its ban on Twitter after the administration blocked the social media platform in retaliation for removing a tweet from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. However, the former president cheered the Nigerian move to block social media from its country.