On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin criticized the U.S. military’s decision not to punish those behind an August airstrike that killed 10 civilians and said the U.S. can no longer use the “pretext” of supporting democracy and human rights to act around the world.
“While the US talked about ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ at the ‘Summit for Democracy,’ the innocent Afghan people who were gunned down by the US military were brushed aside and their families had no place to complain about their grievances,” Wang said. “This is the harsh reality brought to the world by the so-called ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ advocated by the U.S.”
Wang condemned U.S. military interventions in countries like Afghanistan. Iraq and Syria, and called for the international community to “look into the U.S. military’s war crimes of killing innocent civilians around the world and hold it accountable.”
“Justice may be delayed, but it will not be denied,” Wang added. “The era in which the U.S. acted arbitrarily in the world under the pretext of so-called ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ is over. The day of reckoning will eventually come for the U.S. military who committed the crimes of killing innocent civilians in many countries.”
Wang’s comments came in response to Monday remarks by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, who said after a review of the Aug. 29 strike, which killed 10 civilians, “There was not a strong enough case to be made for personal accountability,” for those involved.
“The US troops’ atrocity of killing civilians in Afghanistan is unacceptable. It is all the more outrageous that the U.S. exonerates the perpetrators with impunity on various grounds,” Wang said.
Wang’s remarks come amid recent U.S. condemnations of China’s own human rights record. Last week, the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, citing China’s human rights record and particularly its activities in Xinjiang, where China is estimated to be holding about 1.8 million ethnic minority Uyghurs in internment camps.
China has also come under scrutiny for the recent disappearance and possible kidnapping of tennis player Peng Shuai, who went missing after publicly accusing a top Chinese official of sexual assault. Other Chinese citizens, such as billionaire Jack Ma, have gone missing after publicly criticizing the Chinese government and its leaders.