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Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Liberia Answers Questions from Media on Liberia's Co-sponsorship of Certain Western Countries’ Joint Statement on Xinjiang at the UN General Assembly
2021-11-23 00:06

Question: Recently, Liberia's "Women's Voice" newspaper carried an article, disclosing that Liberia co-sponsored a joint statement on human rights situation in Xinjiang, China, initiated by some western countries at the UN General Assembly. There are also reports by media together with some speculations about Liberia as the only African country that has established diplomatic relations with China to co-sign the above-mentioned joint statement. What is the comment of the Chinese Embassy on this?

Answer: On October 21, at the ongoing 76th Third Committee Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), some Western countries made a so-called "joint statement" on China's human rights situation, using the Xinjiang issue to carry out unwarranted allegations against China. China is shocked and disappointed that Liberia, a good friend and brother of China, is among those countries that have supported this "joint statement", and it is in fact the only African country which has diplomatic relations with China that has done so.

Xinjiang-related issues are China’s internal affairs that brook no interference by external forces. A few Western countries fabricated lies based on false information and continued to attack and discredit China on Xinjiang-related issues, interfering in China's internal affairs under the guise of human rights so as to contain China's development. China firmly opposes this.

Justice always prevails. Also on October 21, 62 developing and friendly countries, including many African countries, made a joint statement at the Third Committee by reiterating that issues related to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet are internal affairs of China, and opposing politically motivated, unreasonable accusations against China based on false information, and interference in China's internal affairs using human rights as an excuse. In addition, around 30 countries have supported China through individual speeches or joint letters.

This fully demonstrates that it is unpopular to politicize human rights issues. We trust more and more countries will choose to stand on the side of justice. We sincerely hope that Liberia can keep her eyes open, discern the truth, not be deceived by those with ulterior motives, and stand on the side of correctness and justice with concrete actions.

Question: Recently, some media are discussing about the Xinjiang issue. What is the essence of the Xinjiang issue? What is the human rights situation of Xinjiang people?

Answer: The essence of Xinjiang-related issues is anti-violence, de-radicalization, and anti-secession issues, not human rights issues. During a certain period of time, Xinjiang used to be an area with frequent violent and terrorist incidents, which brought serious disasters to people of all ethnic groups. After the anti-terrorism campaign carried out by the Chinese government in accordance with the law, Xinjiang has not experienced violent terrorism cases for more than four consecutive years, and the rights to life, health, development and national security interests of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are guaranteed to the utmost.

Over the past 60 years, Xinjiang's economic aggregate has increased by more than 200 times. From 2014 to 2019, Xinjiang's GDP grew at an average annual rate of 7.2%. As of the end of 2019, a total of 2,923,200 people had been lifted out of poverty in Xinjiang, and the incidence of poverty dropped from 19.4% in 2014 to 1.24%. By November 2020, the last 10 poverty-stricken counties of Xinjiang had all completely eradicated absolute poverty. Over the past 40 years, the Uyghur population in Xinjiang has doubled from 5.55 million to more than 12 million. The average life expectancy has increased from 30 to 72 years. Xinjiang has made unprecedented achievements in economic and social development and improvement of people's livelihood. Today Xinjiang has moved from chaos to order, and the people live and work happily in peace and contentment. This is the true story of Xinjiang. We firmly believe that peace, stability, development and prosperity are the greatest and best human rights.

Question: What is China’s position on human rights?

Answer: China advocates respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries, abides by the basic norm of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries, and respects the right of people of all countries to independently choose their own path of human rights development according to their national conditions. Xinjiang is China's internal affair, and other countries have no right to interfere.

China opposes the politicization of human rights issues and the practice of double standards, opposes interference in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights, and advocates the promotion and protection of human rights through constructive dialogue and cooperation. We believe that the Liberian side will recognize the mistake and correct it as soon as possible. China will continue to carry out human rights exchanges and cooperation with all countries in the world, including Liberia, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, advocate the common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom for the mankind, strive to build a community with a shared future for humankind, and make greater contributions to the international human rights cause with China's role.

Question: How do you evaluate China-Liberia relations and bilateral cooperation?

Answer: Since the resumption of our diplomatic relations in October 2003, China has provided strong support to Liberia’s post-war reconstruction and economic and social development. Meanwhile the Liberian side has confirmed its adherence to the one-China principle through legislation, which has effectively consolidated the political foundation of the two countries. The high-level exchanges between the two countries have become more frequent, political mutual trust has been continuously consolidated, and friendly and pragmatic exchanges and cooperation in various fields such as economy and trade, humanities and military have continued to develop in depthand significant progress has been made. 

With the healthy development of China-Liberia relations, the governments and peoples of the two countries have reached a consensus that sustained and stable bilateral relations are in the fundamental interests of the two countries. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Weah, the two countries have carried out all-round cooperation under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The "Belt and Road" initiative and the "Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development" are effectively docked, and pragmatic  cooperation in various fields has achieved fruitful results.

At the end of November, the 8th Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC will be held in Dakar, Senegal. The mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation between China and Liberia will usher in new development opportunities. China has always adhered to the concept of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith in its relations with Liberia. We believe and expect that Liberia has the wisdom and ability to meet China halfway and make joint efforts to promote the steady and healthy development of the bilateral comprehensive cooperative partnership on the basis of mutual respect for each other’s core interests.

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