Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had strong words on Twitter about China's President Xi Jinping following a United Nations meeting on women's rights.
The five women detained by Chinese authorities in March are members of the China Feminist Action League, and are included in the #FreeThe20 hashtag campaign, launched by UN Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power last month.
"We have been saying to the governments holding these prisoners, and others like them: if you want to empower women, don’t imprison them on the basis of their views or beliefs," Power wrote in a statement Sunday.
In response to Clinton's tweet, The Global Times, a Chinese state-run newspaper, accused the former secretary of state of being a "rabble-rouser" and copying Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's "ignominious shenanigans" in order to "chase votes."
"The US presidential election has resulted in an increasing number of ill consequences when democracy spins out of control," the newspaper stated in an English-language editorial. "Policies, guidelines and public interests will have to make room for political chicanery that can incite the voters, by whose support the candidates can succeed to the throne. China bashing has become an effective way for them to win more votes."
The op-ed continued, "Perhaps, Hillary's e-mail scandal has dealt a heavy blow to her, and she is trying to get back in the game by directing people's attention to China...If Hillary is doing what Trump does, she is degrading herself."
The response in China on the country's Twitter-like social network Weibo was similarly negative against Clinton, with some users calling her "an old witch."
Sunday's meeting, co-hosted by the People's Republic of China and UN Women, was focused on the need to end discrimination against women by 2030 as one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The meeting also recognized the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, where Clinton famously declared "that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights."