US clampdown on protests sparks criticism by Chinese netizens, media and officials

Demonstrators clash with police officers in Long Beach, California, on May 31, 2020. PHOTO: AFP
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"I can't breathe," tweeted Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying last Saturday (May 30) in a rebuttal of her United States counterpart Morgan Ortagus' criticism of impending national security laws in Hong Kong.

The snarky tweet was a reference to the last words of Mr George Floyd, an African-American man who died last Monday (May 25) in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for over eight minutes.

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