China on Thursday accused the US of being the “world’s top human rights violator” after Washington imposed visa restrictions on officials of Chinese tech giant Huawei.
“US’ human rights accusations against China are the biggest lie of this century, and the American people should be saddened by their officials who are full of lies,” local daily Global Times cited China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying as saying.
A day earlier, the US imposed visa curbs on certain employees of Huawei tech company over the human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party in the Xinjiang region of northwest China, home to ethnic Uighur Muslim community.
“As the most powerful country in the world, what more can the US do? What kind of impression can it leave on the world? The US’ decision violates the basic norms governing international relations and damages its image as a major power,” Chunying said at a news conference in Beijing.
Huawei expressed regret over visa restrictions, claiming the firm works “independently” from the Chinese government and is fully “private and employee-owned”.
The Chinese spokeswoman also said Washington’s banning the party members and their families from travelling to the country “only makes the US look pathetic.”
Earlier, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Chen Quanguo, Communist Party secretary of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Chen was appointed to the region in 2016, according to the US statement, with a “notorious history of intensifying security operations” in the Tibetan autonomous region to tighten control over the Tibetan ethnic minorities.
China reciprocated by slapping sanctions on officials at US’ China Commission; Sam Brownback, Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, saying that they “have behaved badly over Xinjiang.”
Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that it “firmly opposes UK’s decision to ban Huawei from its 5G construction.”
“Following British side’s abandonment of free trade policy, China is conducting assessment and will take necessary measures to protect legitimate rights of Chinese firms,” the ministry said. The UK government announced on Tuesday that it will push Chinese tech giant Huawei out of the UK’s 5G network by 2027.