China RIPS into Australia for ‘mistreating Aboriginals, refugees and Afghans’ in wake of nuclear subs deal – even as the bullying power is accused of genocide against Uyghur Muslims
- China condemned Australia’s treatment of its refugees and Aboriginals
- Foreign minister Wang Yi accused the country of human rights violations
- Criticism comes despite China being accused of genocide against Uyghurs
- Millions of Muslims believed to have been interned at camps in Xinjiang region
A Chinese representative has slammed Australia over its treatment of refugees, Aboriginals and Afghan civilians – despite his country being accused of genocide against its Muslim population.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian took aim at the country on Thursday – days after the country announced a nuclear submarines deal with the US and UK – after a local reporter asked a question about Australia’s human rights record.
Mr Lijian then launched into a 231-word tirade about the country, starting with the country’s offshore detention centres, then proceeding onto the plight of Aboriginals and finally alleged war crimes by the country’s soldiers in Afghanistan.
On asylum seekers, Mr Lijian said: ‘A large number of refugees and migrants have been long held with chronic mental and physical sufferings, and unnatural deaths occur from time to time.
‘Outsourced to private security firms, the detention centers have bad living conditions. The Australian government fails to effectively monitor them and gravely violates the human rights of refugees and migrants.’
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian took aim at the country’s offshore detention camps at a press conference on Thursday, after a local reporter asked a question about Australia’s human rights record
Mr Zhao then turned his attack onto the treatment of Indigenous Australians calling out the dark history of the country.
‘Australia committed genocide against the Aboriginals and inflicted permanent pain on the ‘stolen generation’ by taking 100,000 Aboriginal children by force from their families,’ he said.
‘Even today, the average life expectancy of the Aboriginal Australians is 8.2 years shorter than that of white people. The Aboriginals account for 3.3 per cent of the Australian population but 28 per cent of the prisoner population.
‘The Australian Aboriginals are still subjected to serious unfair treatment in living conditions, law enforcement and justice system, among others.’
Finally, he went on to hammer the country over alleged war crimes in Afghanistan – a topic Chinese state media and officials have repeatedly dwelled upon while an inquiry is underway in Canberra.
The relationship between China and Australia has been fraught with tension, particularly since Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an inquiry into how Covid originated in Wuhan.
Mr Zhao’s rant came as China faces global condemnation of the treatment of its Uyghur Muslim population.
Rights groups estimate one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been interned in camps in the northwest Xinjiang region.
China describes them as vocational training centres to combat religious extremism.
On asylum seekers, Mr Lijian said: ‘A large number of refugees and migrants have been long held with chronic mental and physical sufferings, and unnatural deaths occur from time to time (pictured, Christmas Island)
Authorities have been accused of imposing forced labor, systematic forced birth control and torture, erasing the Uyghurs’ cultural and religious identity, and separating children from incarcerated parents.
Chinese officials have rejected the genocide and rights abuse allegations as groundless and characterized the camps as vocational training centers to teach Chinese language, job skills and the law to support economic development and combat radicalism.
China saw a wave of Xinjiang-related terror attacks through 2016.
The U.S. government and parliaments in Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada have declared that Beijing’s policies against the Uyghurs amount to genocide and crimes against humanity.
The United States have blocked imports of cotton and tomatoes from Xinjiang and companies linked to forced labor in the region, and the European Union and Britain have also imposed sanctions on Communist Party officials.
In March, Australia refused to join ranks and blocked a motion to acknowledge China’s treatment of the Uyghurs as genocide.
Rights groups estimate one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been interned in camps in the northwest Xinjiang region