TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Texas Senator Ted Cruz struck a nerve in China over the weekend after he made a series of statements about the social unrest in Hong Kong, voicing support for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in the territory.
In response, Chinese media and foreign affairs officials railed against the senator, accusing him of fomenting a “color revolution” in Hong Kong and playing political tricks to disrupt Chinese-U.S. trade negotiations. China’s state-backed propaganda outlet the Global Times published an editorial entitled “Cruz plays politics [sic] tricks, aims at inciting color revolution.”
The Office of the Commissioner of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong accused Cruz of “trampling international law” and of making “bare-faced lies” about Hong Kong. The blustering condemnation of Cruz was quoted at length by the Global Times.
"Cruz glorified the black-clad rioters' acts which trample on the rule of law, endanger public safety, and attempt to take over the jurisdiction of Hong Kong and destroy the 'one country, two systems' in disguise of fighting for human rights and democracy, slandering China's central government as well as the Hong Kong SAR government. His vicious intentions and despicable tricks have been detected by the world.
Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots, are firmly opposed to politicians like Cruz, who is a habitual liar, coming to Hong Kong to stir trouble. The Chinese are unshakable in our determination to safeguard China's sovereignty and security as well as Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.
We warn people like Cruz to take off their black clothes, take back their 'black hands,' stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and not to act wildly in Chinese territory."
In the past week, Cruz has emerged as a strong proponent of free speech and democratic values by challenging China on issues of censorship abroad and the political suppression of dissenting voices in Hong Kong. Cruz was also in Taipei last week to participate in Taiwan’s National Day celebrations and reaffirm his support for Taiwan-U.S. relations.
On @FaceTheNation: What's happening in Hong Kong is inspiring. We've seen over 2 million people standing up for freedom, for democracy & standing up against the oppression of the Chinese communist regime. It is very much in America’s interests to support freedom fighters in HK. pic.twitter.com/ZfvrbpWtk8— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 13, 2019
The Chinese government was likely angered because of Cruz’s visit with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in Taiwan and his meeting with Hong Kong media mogul and free speech advocate Jimmy Lai and other pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. On Saturday, Ted Cruz also revealed to the media that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam abruptly canceled an arranged meeting with Cruz without explanation.
Cruz’s comments on Lam’s decision to cancel the meeting and his decision to wear black during his visit in solidarity with protesters has apparently infuriated the Chinese government, which has openly condemned the U.S. Senator. Speaking in Hong Kong, Cruz was quoted by Reuters saying “I stand with the people of Hong Kong calling on the government of China to honor the promises it made to the world when it promised to maintain political freedom in Hong Kong.”
The Global Times editorial ended with a quote from an associate professor at Beihang University in Beijing, Tian Feilong (田飛龍), who threatened that "Cruz will pay for his words and deeds that harm China's national interests."