China on Tuesday strongly condemned the sanctions imposed by the United States, Canada, Britain and the European Union (EU) on Chinese individuals and entities over Xinjiang-related issues, warning "they will have to pay a price for their ignorance and arrogance."
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the sanctions were based on nothing but lies and false information under the pretext of so-called human rights issues.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has summoned the EU and British ambassadors to China respectively to lodge solemn representations. China has also lodged solemn representations with the United States and Canada, Hua said.
China on Monday announced sanctions against 10 individuals and four entities on the EU side.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Hua said people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, including the Uyghurs, enjoy each and every constitutional and lawful right, as well as stability, security, development and progress, which is "one of the most successful human rights stories."
However, some politicians in the United States, Britain, Canada and the EU are obviously unwilling to acknowledge this fact. They are only interested with the so-called "evidence" maliciously fabricated by some anti-China politicians and scholars on the basis of false information, even distortion and misinterpretation of official data released by China, Hua said.
Such a practice only proves that they care about neither human rights nor the truth, she said.
"Such politicians are unwilling to see China's success and development, so they interfere in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and use various excuses to contain China's development," Hua said.
Their slanderous actions harm the reputation and dignity of the Chinese people, flagrantly interfere in China's internal affairs, and seriously violate China's sovereignty and security interests, she added.
These self-styled "judges" of human rights are keen to lecture others, but they have an ignoble record on human rights. They are not in the position to criticize China, much less to shift blames to China for what they have committed, Hua said.
"These countries show no repentance over the turmoil they created in other countries, and even go further to impose unilateral sanctions on others in the name of human rights, severely jeopardizing the rights to life, health and development of people in relevant countries," she said.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, these above-mentioned most developed countries have turned a blind eye to their people's rights to life and health, leading to losses of tens of hundreds of lives. In pursuit of "vaccine nationalism" , they have hoarded vaccines far in excess of their population's needs, leaving developing countries struggling with insufficient vaccines.
"We can't help but asking: how could people have any right if they lost their lives? The United States and the West have been trumpeting protecting human rights, but who and what right on earth are they protecting? In what way are they respecting and protecting human rights? Shouldn't they feel shameful?"
"The days when foreign powers could force China to open its doors with cannons are long gone; also gone are the days when several so-called scholars and media could unscrupulously malign China in collusion without being punished," Hua said.
"We urge them not to underestimate Chinese people's firm determination to defend national interests and dignity. It's a courtesy to reciprocate what we receive," she said. "They will have to pay a price for their ignorance and arrogance."