Cuban Ambassador to China Carlos Miguel Pereira (left) Photo: Xie Wenting/GT
The recent moves taken by the US and other Western countries to target China over the Xinjiang and Hong Kong issues are motivated by political reasons and Cuba opposes any politicization of human rights, the Cuban Ambassador to China told media on Wednesday.
“As a country that is often unjustifiably criticized for its economic and social development model, Cuba fully understands what China feels now,” the Cuban Ambassador to China, Carlos Miguel Pereira, said during a media conference held on Wednesday at the Cuban Embassy in Beijing.
The European Union, United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have jointly sanctioned Chinese officials over what they called human rights abuses in Xinjiang. China later hit back with tit-for-tat countermeasures by sanctioning 10 individuals and four entities that have spread rumors and lies about Xinjiang.
The ambassador stressed that Cuba firmly supports China’s stance on Xinjiang issues and resolutely opposes double standards in human rights.
“In fact, those countries that accuse China of genocide on the Xinjiang issue are the countries that colonized others and have actually committed genocide in human history,” the ambassador said.
“We firmly oppose any foreign interference in China’s internal affairs. At the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Cuba delivered a joint speech on behalf of 64 countries, firmly supporting China’s position on Xinjiang issues and opposing double standards on human rights issues,” he said.
According to the ambassador, those countries’ accusations against China are meaningless. During the past five years, while some countries attacked China’s policies in Xinjiang, the country actually made great achievements in poverty alleviation in the region. The Chinese government led the Chinese people to promote social development and progress, but it was criticized by some forces in the international community.
“Cuba thinks this is very unfair for China,” he said.
The diplomat gave the example that some countries that criticized China’s policies in Xinjiang do not care for their population as China does. Especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, Cuba has seen that China has always put life as a priority in all its policies, while those countries that frequently criticize China have failed to protect their own people in the face of the pandemic.
He also criticized the US for having double standards on the issue of antiterrorism. On the one hand, the US and other Western countries groundlessly criticized China’s Xinjiang policy. On the other hand, they labeled Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism for political reasons and turned a blind eye to the shooting and terrorist attacks that the Cuban Embassy in the US has experienced, he said.
At Wednesday’s conference, he made a presentation about how the US embargo against Cuba has terribly affected the country. He noted that last year more than 5.5 billion yuan ($843 million) were lost due to US sanctions, the highest in history. And sanctions have also negatively impacted the health system in the country during the epidemic.
While facing those difficulties, he said, Cuba plans to vaccinate all its citizens by the end of this year.
He noted that the US and some Western countries still think they are the center of power and they like to look at other countries in a highly egotistical manner. But they did not realize that many things have changed in this era.
The old way of the US and the West does not work now. “We are now in a more equal position,” he added.
The US is used to only speak about its own agenda and wants others to obey but now, more and more countries are not listening to the US and want to express their opinions.
“This is also the retreat of US power,” he said.
The diplomat noted that it is important to strengthen cooperation on multilateral platforms, such as the UN, and conduct cooperation on an equal basis.
“Safeguarding sovereignty is more important now than ever. The importance of international cooperation is also heavier,” he said.
Cuba will continue to support international voices opposing interference in China’s internal affairs, oppose groundless accusations against China over Xinjiang and Hong Kong issues, and firmly oppose the false propaganda that tries to curb the development and interests of developing countries including China, he added.
The diplomat also praised the incredible achievements by the people in poverty reduction and the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.