A White House spokesman's tepid response to questions about support for Chinese citizens risking their lives to protest months of draconian coronavirus lockdowns is an American "shame," a top U.S. expert on China told Fox News on Monday.
The Chinese Communist Party is arresting unknown numbers of people who have taken to the streets of major Chinese cities to protest, Gatestone Institute fellow Gordon Chang told "Hannity," adding that the heavy-handed Chinese President Xi Jinping regime's estimated 620 million surveillance cameras are aiding in identifying dissidents.
Chang said the U.S. response is shameful, in that America's long history of defending democracy and freedom to assemble for redress should be highlighted as the model for the world.
Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby, from the White House podium, said the protesters are "are speaking for themselves."
"What we are doing is making it clear that we support the right of peaceful protest," he added. "The White House supports the right of peaceful protest."
Chang alluded to the fact there was no mention of the substance behind the protests, telling Fox News the U.S. must always stand up for such public expressions.
"It is the number one job of an American president to clearly and proudly defend and promote freedom and democracy," he said.
"And we didn't hear that from John Kirby. We didn't hear it from President Biden's statement. Shame on us, because these are our values."
The other issue that arises from such a weak response, he said, is that the Chinese government will take notice of that rhetoric.
"When we don't promote our values, the Chinese notice," he said.
Chang also said the amount of protests in a country should also be a rare warning for Xi from within his own country.
"I think he certainly does [have to worry about his regime] because the protesters on the Chinese streets over the weekend were not only saying that Xi Jinping must step down – They were saying that the Communist Party has to leave China because the Chinese people want to govern themselves," Chang said.
"And that is revolutionary."
Host Sean Hannity added the protests are reminiscent of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, specifically the iconic image of a man standing in front of a CCP tank.
China, Hannity said, is part of the "new axis of evil" combined with Russia and Iran.
"All three of these countries now are experiencing unrest at the same time," he added.