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China condemns summoning of its envoys

By MO JINGXI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-03-25 08:31

In many areas of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, machines are used to harvest cotton. [Photo/Xinhua]

China does not accept some European countries' unjustifiable practice of summoning Chinese envoys, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday, accusing the European Union of engaging in hegemony and hypocrisy.

She made the remark as France, Germany and some other countries summoned Chinese ambassadors to lodge representations after China announced countermeasures against the EU for its unilateral sanctions on four Chinese individuals and one entity over issues related to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

"The EU side is playing double standards as it only allows itself to arbitrarily smear and attack others, and even arbitrarily imposes sanctions based on fake information and lies, but does not allow China to talk back or hit back," Hua said.

She added that China does not provoke trouble, but China is not afraid of trouble.

When asked about the European Parliament's decision to cancel a meeting on Tuesday to discuss a bilateral investment agreement between China and the EU, Hua said the deal is not a gift or a blessing given by one side to the other, but is mutually beneficial.

Besides the EU, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada also lined up to announce sanctions against China, while Australia and New Zealand welcomed these countries' coordinated efforts.

Hua said what the US and its allies had done reminded people of the Eight-Nation Alliance Force that invaded China in 1900.

"China is not what it was 120 years ago. They should know that the Chinese people are not to be messed with," she said.

Yang Xiaoguang, charge d'affaires minister at the Chinese embassy in the UK, said that China is "carefully studying" the move made by the UK and "will make proper measures in due time".

On Tuesday, the Xinjiang regional government also condemned the sanctions, saying that they are based on nothing but lies and disinformation.

Xu Guixiang, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, said that these countries care nothing about "human rights "or truth, but use "human rights" as a cover to interfere in China's domestic affairs and contain China's development.

"Their moves disregard and distort fact, flagrantly breach international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely hurt the feelings of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang," he said at a news conference in Urumqi.

According to Xu, the autonomous region's government has invited EU envoys to visit Xinjiang on a number of occasions, but the EU has used many reasons to postpone such a visit and even made unreasonable demands.

"They are just afraid of seeing the real situation in Xinjiang. They are scared that a stable and prosperous society in Xinjiang would tear their lies apart," Xu said.

In another development, anger with Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M erupted on Chinese social media platform Weibo over the company's earlier statement saying it was deeply concerned about reports of "forced labor" in Xinjiang.

Netizens called for the company to get out of the Chinese market as "it is spreading rumors to boycott Xinjiang cotton while also wanting to make money in China".

As of Wednesday afternoon, the company's products could not be found on e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and JD.

Mao Weihua in Urumqi contributed to this story.

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