China’s state-run Global Times newspaper noted in multiple articles Wednesday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had used the occasion of the debut of his agency’s global human rights report to decry “systemic racism” in the United States, a common Communist Party complaint about the country.
The State Department annually published a country-by-country assessment of the human rights situations around the world. China, considered by many experts the world’s most severe human rights abuser, faces multiple accusations of atrocities in this year’s report, most dramatically that of genocide.
“Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang,” the report read in part. “These crimes were continuing and include: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians; forced sterilization, coerced abortions, and more restrictive application of China’s birth control policies; rape; torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained; forced labor; and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.”
China has regularly countered the extensive evidence collected of the Communist Party’s genocide against the Uyghur people by claiming that America is inherently racist and commits human rights abuses against its own people. Chinese officials most prominently made this argument during a meeting with Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in March, in which Politburo member Yang Jiechi claimed the United States could not speak to China “from a position of strength” because of the Black Lives Matter movement and racism disputes in the country.
Blinken appeared to preempt those complaints Tuesday by claiming America also struggled with human rights issues.
“We will hear from some countries, as we do other years, that we have no right to criticize them because we have our own challenges to deal with. Well, we know we have work to do at home that includes addressing profound inequities, including systemic racism,” Blinken said. “We don’t pretend these problems don’t exist or try to sweep them under the rug. We don’t ignore them. We deal with them in the daylight with full transparency.”
“Blinken admitted on Tuesday that the U.S. has work to do ‘at home,’ including ‘systemic racism,'” the Global Times relayed Wednesday in an article illustrated by a photo of young Mexican and Central American migrants sleeping on the floor of one of President Joe Biden’s detention facilities. “It seems that Blinken is attempting to separate human rights issues in the US from accusations it pinned on other countries, which exactly showed US’ double standards in human rights, analysts said.”
The Global Times claimed that the ongoing trial in the case of late Minnesota man George Floyd was somehow also exemplary of this “double standard” in highlighting the mass imprisonment of millions of Uyghur and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang without due process.
In an abrupt topic shift, the propaganda outlet later claimed, in the context of China’s concentration camps for Muslim minority people, “the Biden administration is facing a 20-year high in numbers of migrants arriving at its southern border, including some 5,000 children. According to Western media reports, the children were kept in detention facilities that were criticized as inhumane and were described as ‘concentration camps’ by American and Chinese net users.”
In another article Wednesday, the Times attacked Blinken for allegedly using a “boasting” tone in agreeing with Yang Jiechi that America suffers from alleged “systemic racism.”
“During the press conference on the report, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken seemingly wanted to show the difference from the previous state department’s reckless approach,” the publication recalled. “However, he then emphasized that Washington deals with its problems ‘in the daylight, with full transparency.’ What he meant was that the nature of human rights issues in the US is different from those of other countries. He said it with a touch of boasting.”
“If country reports on human rights practices are needed, it is supposed to be the duty of the U.N. Yet, Washington has become a back-seat driver,” the newspaper complained. “It is mainly out of the U.S.’ intent to pursue its geopolitical interests.”
The article went on to conclude that “the vast majority of developing countries” oppose the universal human rights standards that America has traditionally championed.
Another Chinese government publication, China Daily, speculated that Blinken himself did not believe the contents of the State Department human rights report and indicated as such by condemning the United States’ human rights record.
“U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is probably more aware than his predecessor [Mike Pompeo] that the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices the United States issued on Tuesday do not stand scrutiny,” China Daily assessed. “Otherwise, he would not have made a point of saying in his statement introducing this year’s reports that the Biden administration will voice its concerns about human rights abuses regardless of whether the perpetrators are adversaries or partners, or admit that the U.S. has its own job to do as well.”
“Considering the U.S.’ own failings on human rights, it is certainly apt that he should say that the U.S. is not above criticism,” the propaganda outlet declared. “Yet given the human rights crises it has formulated, incited, funded and orchestrated at home and abroad, it is nonetheless presumptuous, to say the least, for the U.S. to lecture other countries on human rights issues.”
The article did not go on to identify any “human rights crises” created by the United States “at home and abroad.”
“The US championing of human rights in its foreign policy is nothing but a sham. It simply serves as a fig leaf for its interfering in other countries’ internal affairs,” it concluded.
Blinken’s remarks regarding “systemic racism” echo talking points relayed to him personally at the meeting with Yang and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Alaska last month, which the Communist Party considered such a diplomatic victory that it celebrated for days and sold commemorative items with Yang quotes on them.
“The challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter. It did not come up only recently,” Yang said at the event, later adding, “the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.”