BEIJING, March 23: China on Tuesday said it summoned foreign diplomats in protest after the United States, the European Union, Canada and Britain jointly imposed sanctions on senior Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in China’s far western Xinjiang region.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Tuesday called the new sanctions a slander and an affront to the reputation and dignity of the Chinese people.
“I admonish them that they should not underestimate the firm determination of the Chinese people to defend their national interests and dignity, and they will pay the price for their folly and arrogance,” Hua told reporters at a daily briefing.
That came hours after the Chinese and Russian Foreign Ministers denounced new wave criticism and sanctions against both countries over human rights.
At a news conference in the southern Chinese city of Nanning, China’s Wang Yi and Russia’s Sergei Lavrov rejected outside critiques of their authoritarian political systems and said they were working to further global progress on issues from climate change to the coronavirus pandemic.
Countries should stand together to oppose all forms of unilateral sanctions, Wang said. These measures will not be embraced by the international community.
Russia is also under Western sanctions over human rights abuses and military aggression against Ukraine. Lavrov said Russia’s ties with China grew stronger as Moscow’s relations with the EU suffered damage, while accusing the West of imposing their own rules on everyone else, which they believe should underpin the world order.
If Europe broke these relations, simply destroying all the mechanisms that have been created for many years ... then, probably, objectively, this leads to the fact that our relations with China are developing faster than what’s left of relations with European countries, Lavrov said.
In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the two ministers said no country should seek to impose its form of democracy on others. Interference in a sovereign nation’s internal affairs under the excuse of advancing democracy’ is unacceptable, the statement said.
China says members of the Uyghur and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang have voluntarily taken part in job training and de-radicalization courses, denying charges that more than 1 million have been locked up in prison-like reeducation camps where they are forced to reject their native culture and pledge loyalty to the ruling Communist Party and its leader Xi Jinping. Media outlets, foreign governments and activist groups say abuses, including forced labor and coerced birth control, are ongoing. – AP