On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the U.S. of having committed a range of human rights “sins,” in an apparent deflection from U.S. criticism of China’s genocide.
Zhao raised the criticisms in response to a question about recent comments by U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who said “when it comes to our concerns with the government in Beijing, including Beijing’s egregious human rights violations, its conduct of genocide in the case of Xinjiang, that what the United States does is meaningful.”
During his Tuesday remarks, Zhao criticized the Price’s characterization of China’s actions in Xinjiang as “genocide” before blaming the U.S. for its own human rights violations, including through the displacement of Native Americans during the U.S. westward expansion, as well as modern day discriminition towards Asian-Americans
On Thursday, Deng Xijun, the Chinese Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shared many of Zhao’s comments in a series of tweets.
Xijun tweeted, “FM: The #US has been using #HumanRights as a fig leaf in a vain attempt to cover the #sins of human rights violation it has committed. Here’s some of its sins recorded in history &proved by facts:colonialism, racism, exporting turmoil, interventionism &double standards.”
Xijun tweeted, “Sin No.1:#Colonialism. The #US committed #genocide &crimes against #humanity. Over the 100 yrs after US founding, native #Indians were expelled &killed during the #WestwardExpansion. Their population plunged from 5 mln in late 15th century to 0.25 mln in early 20th century.”
In a third tweet Xijun wrote, “Sin No.2:#Racism. After the onset of #COVID19, hate crimes against #Asians grew by 150% since March 2020. During this year’s #UPR & #UNHRC, over 110 countries criticized #US #HumanRights conditions &urged it to address racial discrimination &other systemic problems.”
Xijun then went on to criticize U.S. military operations during the Global War on Terror, which began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S.
Xijun tweeted, Sin No.3: Exporting turmoil. Since 2001, the #US staged #wars &military operations in 80 countries in the name of counter-#terrorism, costing 800,000 lives including 330,000 civilians &displacing millions in #Afghanistan, #Iraq & #Syria.
Xijun added, “Sin No.4:Interventionism. Hiding behind the banner of #HumanRights , the #US has launched strikes against sovereign countries in defiance of the #UN Charter. How could there be unbroken eggs under a toppled nest? How could human rights be protected if nat’l sovereignty is lost?”
Xijun concluded his list of U.S. sins with former President Donald Trump’s order banning travel to the U.S. from countries listed as terrorist havens. Critics of Trump’s ban on travel from these countries took note that some of the countries were majority Muslim, and the travel ban was eventually labeled a “Muslim travel ban.”
Xijun tweeted, “Sin No.5: Double standards. In 2017, the former #US administration issued the anti-#Muslim ban, making the US the only country to have issued a ban targeting the Muslim community. A US poll showed that over 80% of those surveyed believe Muslims face discrimination in the US.”
Zhao and Xijun’s comments come as China has been accused of using forced abortions and sterilizations against the Uyghur population in what the U.S. has called an act of genocide.
In addition to its treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang, China has been criticized on a number of human rights matters, including jailing journalists and whistleblowers, using forced confessions and abducting dissidents.