US, EU should mind own business on human rights issues: Chinese FM

Global Times, December 11, 2023 —

Foreign countries have no rights or are in no position to meddle in China’s human rights situation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated on Monday, emphasizing that those countries should reflect on themselves and stop politicizing and instrumentalizing human rights issues.

The remarks were made by foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning during a regular press conference on Monday, after the EU Delegation in China released a statement on Sunday, in which the EU “reiterates its concerns” about the human rights situation in China.

Mao noted that holds a people-centered approach and has scored historic achievements in protecting human rights. Xinjiang and Xizang have long enjoyed booming economy, harmonious and stable society, and effective protection and promotion of cultural heritage. The rights and freedoms of all ethnic groups, including the freedom of religious belief and the freedom to use and develop their ethnic groups’ spoken and written languages, are fully protected.

Facts have long disproved the so-called “genocide” and “forced labor” as egregious lies. The human rights conditions there are at their historical best, as recognized by the international community, said Mao.

Mao urged the EU to recognize China’s progress in the human rights cause, put down arrogance and bias, abandon the hypocritical double standards, take concrete action to improve its own human rights conditions, stop using human rights as a pretext to interfere in China’s internal affairs and judicial sovereignty, and stop politicizing, instrumentalizing and weaponizing human rights issues.

Chinese experts also warned Europe against following the US in weaponizing claims of “forced labor,” after Volkswagen’s announcement that no evidence of forced labor was found in its supply chain in Xinjiang region.

According to Mao, while pointing fingers at developing countries’ human rights conditions over the years, the EU is in fact experiencing worrying human rights conditions in itself.

Recent years have seen in European countries infringement of the rights of refugees and migrants, rising exclusivism and racism, negligence over economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development, and selective application and double standards on issues such as freedom of press and forced labor. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out that some EU countries are backsliding on fundamental human rights commitments, Mao added.

The spokesperson also pointed to the US, after the country on Friday announced new sanctions against two Chinese officials for “serious human rights abuses” against Uygur people in Xinjiang, and also blocked imports from three additional Chinese companies due to allegations of forced labor.

The US has no right and is in no position to point fingers at the human rights situation in Xinjiang. The so-called “genocide” and “forced labor” are nothing but the biggest lie of the century spread by the US with the aim to contain and suppress China and has long been exposed in front of facts and truths, Mao said.

The US is fraught with domestic human rights issues and it has a quite notorious international human rights record. If the US truly cared about human rights, it needs to earnestly address its domestic problems such as racial discrimination, gun violence and drug abuse. The last thing it should do is to veto the Security Council resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire, the only country that has done so, while the humanitarian disaster in Gaza deteriorates by the hour, Mao said.

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