Chinese state media has claimed "American values are in crisis" after an alleged rape on a train in front of other passengers made headlines worldwide.
Beijing mouthpiece the Global Times continued its ongoing, highly-critical commentary of the US on Monday amid China's ongoing fallout with Washington by capitalising on what authorities described as a "troubling" incident in Philadelphia.
After reviewing surveillance footage, Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt of the Upper Darby Police Department said he believed other passengers "should have done something" after failing to intervene and branded their behaviour as "troubling".
In an opinion piece, the Global Times said the incident highlighted the "big problem" the US faces over "social governance".
"Security in the US is a mess," it said.
"Anyone who lived in the US is aware that due to poor security, residents are afraid of going out at night in some regions of the US."
The Global Times said the incident had caused shock on Chinese social media, many who couldn't believe such an incident could occur in a country that "claims to be the world's most developed".
"The US is advanced in technology, military and economy, but not ethics, morality and social governance. Washington shows serious underdevelopment on these aspects."
It said such behaviour was becoming normalised in the US, along with other crimes.
"Problems like robbery, gun violence and police brutality happen so often that none of them is newsworthy to Americans," the article read.
"However, what is normal in the US is shocking and frightening for people from other countries, especially those in good order and with good morals. This is yet another example of the degeneration of US society."
Chinese state media has strong interest in US issues
Chinese state media has long been offering commentary on social issues in the US and its coverage has previously been branded excessive and dismissed as propaganda.
Following its wave of scathing editorials and opinion pieces in the wake of the Capitol riots in January, where the Global Times said the US’s global image was in disarray amid a “long-term decline”, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying defended such intense coverage on a widely-reported event.
“Why are factual reports by the Chinese media being labelled propaganda or even disinformation? Is it simply because some people in the United States find them unpalatable?” she asked.
The Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid, remains fixated on Chinese diplomatic spats, taking aim at any nation that clashes with Beijing.
Australia has faced the publication's wrath in the past two years as relations between Canberra and Beijing rapidly deteriorated over several issues.
James Palmer, the former opinions editor at the Global Times, told Yahoo News Australia earlier this year the publication's coverage was likely "direct messaging" from Beijing.
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