Hillary Clinton found yet another way to get on Chinese leaders’ bad side yesterday when she tweeted that China’s recent detainment of five women’s rights activists is “inexcusable.” Despite the fact that she holds no public office, China was quick to condemn Clinton’s tweet and remind everyone to mind their own business and respect China’s judicial sovereignty.
The five young women activists – Li Tingting, Wei Tingting, Wang Man, Zheng Churan and Wu Rongrong – had planned public protests against sexual harassment and domestic violence to mark National Women’s Day, March 8th, but were arrested instead for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a charge that can earn an activist up to five years in prison.
It’s now nearing a month since the women were first picked up and former U.S. Secretary of State Clinton thinks that it has been long enough.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 7, 2015
According to Reuters, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying was quick to respond to Clinton’s tweet, in a daily news briefing he said that the matter was entirely an internal affair.
“China is a country ruled by law. Relevant departments will handle the relevant case according to law. We hope that public figures in other countries can respect China’s judicial sovereignty and independence,” Hua said.
Clinton hasn’t exactly been a Henry Kissinger-level friend of China. She’s a long-time critic of China’s human rights record and has gotten under China’s skin before, particularly during negotiations involving a certain blind dissident lawyer now living in the United States. In 2014, her memoir Hard Choices was effectively banned in China.
Take some time to read over some of Clinton’s views on China, pretty soon she might have a more formidable platform than Twitter.
by Alex Linder