The insurrection was featured on the front page of the Global Times’ Chinese website, accompanied with headlines such as (link in Chinese) “An iconic humiliation! The madness of the Capitol [incident] has dragged the US’s standing [as a democracy] into its Waterloo!”

Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said today (link in Chinese) that China hopes the US will return soon to peace and stability. She also commented US media coverage and political responses to the pro-Trump demonstrations versus the Hong Kong protests, equating the two. “What words did they use on Hong Kong, and what words did they use [on storming of the Capitol]?…such a difference and the reasons behind it is worth us reflecting on seriously,” said Hua.

Xiakedao, a social media account run by the overseas edition of the People’s Daily, the Party’s largest mouthpiece, also zeroed in on Pelosi’s “beautiful sight” remark. The term has become a buzzword among Chinese internet users, who used it to mock the US democratic system, which they say only supports social unrest in other places, but not in its own country.

“The US Congress at the moment…what did Pelosi say before?” Xiakedao posted today, alongside nine pictures showing the pro-Trump mob breaching the building, as well as lawmakers hiding under their seats.

China’s Communist Youth League, a Party-affiliated political organization for Chinese youngsters, posted photos of the mob holding up pro-Trump banners in front of the Capitol, and captioned it with “a world-famous painting.”

As of noon on Thursday, the hashtag #Trump supporters stormed into the Capitol Hill had generated nearly 500 million views on Weibo. Many users said the riots marked the beginning of a deeper divide in the US, with some even asking if it might culminate in a second Civil War.

It is a familiar tactic for Beijing to utilize flashpoints in democracies to justify its own approach to governance. The country’s blanket censorship of foreign websites means most of the country relies on domestic, often state-owned, media for information, allowing the authorities to promote a  narrative that a one-party state can provide far more stability than the chaos of a democracy.

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