China has said the United States of America (U.S.) and some Western countries owe numerous historical debts. The Asian country was responding to calls by several countries during the 48th session of the Human Rights Council for attention on the impact of the poisonous legacy of colonialism.
This comes amid growing concern by some African citizens on China’s way of doing business saying it was becoming the new colonial master. Pindula News presents the statement by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference (2021-9-24)
Shenzhen TV: During the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, many countries called for attention on the impact of the poisonous legacy of colonialism. Could you elaborate a little bit more about China’s position on this?
Zhao Lijian: A few Western countries including the US owe numerous historical debts. Through slavery, trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, expulsion and slaughter of indigenous peoples, these countries made their fortune and amassed initial funds for capital development. In the process, they caused countless tragedies. It is even more poignant that the former colonies, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples that were sacrificed by colonialism in the old days are now still victims of its poisonous legacy. They suffer from economic exploitation and systemic racial discrimination and could not enjoy basic human rights such as equal right to subsistence and development.
The period 2021-2030 is the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. Countries that once practiced or benefited from colonialism should show the political will and courage to shoulder responsibility for their historical crimes and remove the negative impact of colonialism. The international community should take the coming decade as an opportunity to jointly eliminate poisonous legacies of colonialism, promote and protect human rights, and uphold international justice.
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