FM spokesperson quotes Mao poem to slam US lawmakers for
slandering China over HK affairs 1

File photo: VCG

 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying quoted one of the most classic poems of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong at Wednesday’s routine press briefing, slamming some US lawmakers for slandering China over Hong Kong affairs and mocking them for being ridiculous and overconfident. 

In response to a reporter’s question on China’s comment on US lawmakers’ proposed bill that bans tear gas sales to Hong Kong police, Hua asked whether some US lawmakers want to keep the equipment in the US for their own use. 

Hua asked US lawmakers’ three questions: Where were the rule of law that you advocate when rioters brutally attacked and harmed Hong Kong police and destroyed public facilities? Where were the human rights that you advertise when the personal information of Hong Kong police officers and their families was exposed and subjected to cyber bullying? Where was the freedom you proclaim when the people who hold different views were chased, beaten, besieged by black-clad protesters?

Some US senators glorified violence and illegal activities as human rights. They described enduring humiliation and restrained law enforcement by Hong Kong police officers as excessive use of violence. Their conduct has severely defied freedom, democracy and human rights. It exposed their extreme hypocrisy and double standards, said Hua. 

Hua quoted two verses in Mao’s poem Reply to Comrade Guo Moruo (Tune: “the River All Red”) in 1963, which said “an ant on a locust would boast it was a big country; a pismire could not find it easy to shake one tree.” It is a metaphor, referring to those who have little power but try to shake powerful things. It mocks the behavior of self-approbation and overconfidence.

Finishing the verses, Hua stressed that Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs and the country never allows any foreign government, organization or individual to intervene. 

The version was translated by Xu Yuanchong, a Chinese translator, who was best known for translating Chinese ancient poems into English and French.

“Anyone who attempts to play with fire on the Hong Kong issue will eventually burn themselves. We advise some people in the US not to pretend to sleep and be reckless. They should immediately stop indulging violence and interfering in Hong Kong affairs,” Hua said. 

The verses quoted by Hua were followed by a speech made by Yang Guang, spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, at a press conference on September 3 in Beijing. 

In response to a reporter’s question on comments on Western countries’ reaction to Hong Kong affairs, Yang stressed that other countries have no right to supervise Hong Kong affairs. 

He also quoted the first five verses of the poem, which says “Upon this globe so small, a few flies are running against the wall. They hum and squeak, with pain they shriek, with spasms they squall,” to slam some Western politicians, especially those from the US, of distorting the truth on Hong Kong affairs and urge them to wake up and stop playing tricks. 

The verses mean that since the earth is small, some flies that run against the wall are even smaller and could be neglected. The flies are a metaphor for some countries. 

The poem, composed as China was emerging from a difficult three-year period and relations between China and the Soviet Union were beginning to fray, shows Mao’s determination to fight imperialism and hegemony, according to Chinese scholars’ interpretation.