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China Champions the Human Rights of “Africans and People of African Descent” in UN Squabble With the U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zha=o Lijian speaking at the regular press briefing in Beijing on July 13, 2021. Image via MFA.

China’s increasingly contentious dispute with European and North American countries over human rights in Xinjiang has now led to Beijing rallying on behalf of “Africans and people of African descent” in Western countries who are the victims of systemic racism in those societies. The issue first came up on Tuesday at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva where China issued a joint statement on behalf of more than 50 countries that “stressed that Africans and people of African descent, Asians and people of Asian descent have long been suffering systemic racism, racial discrimination, and hate crimes” — specifically in the West.

That was then followed up on Wednesday in Beijing by Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian (photo) at the daily press briefing where he dismissed as “a joke” the latest U.S. report that asserts “China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs.” China’s default response to U.S.-led accusations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang is to point out America’s centuries-long abuse of its own ethnic minorities by raising historical injustices including slavery and events like the Tulsa massacre and more current issues related to police brutality.

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