by Xinhua writers Shen Zhonghao, Yuan Liang
BRUSSELS, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) on Chinese individuals and entity citing Xinjiang are malicious political tricks that grossly interfere in China's internal affairs under the guise of human rights issues.
It is imperative for the EU to end its hypocritical practice of double standards and stop going further down the wrong path.
First and foremost, the EU accusation is based on nothing but lies and disinformation. It has either disregarded or distorted basic facts about Xinjiang for political purposes.
In the past 60-plus years, Xinjiang's economy has grown by more than 200 times, and the average life expectancy and Uygur population both doubled. Moreover, by showing a variety of hard evidence to the world, China has repeatedly emphasized that Xinjiang-related issues are about fighting terrorism, extremism and separatism, not human rights violations as falsely claimed by some Western politicians.
China has sent multiple invitations to diplomats from across the EU to visit Xinjiang. Just as Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, has said recently, Xinjiang is open to European ambassadors, diplomats, journalists and tourists.
However, it is the EU side that has kept delaying their visits and made unreasonable demands. It is also regrettable that those European politicians indulge in false reports on Xinjiang by some Western media outlets and further spread lies and disinformation.
Second, the EU sanctions have flagrantly breached international law and basic norms governing international relations. China has repeatedly refuted such moves of gross interference, and has gained wide support globally.
On March 12, 64 countries made a joint statement at the Human Rights Council, urging relevant countries to stop using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, stop making politically motivated accusations against China, and stop using human rights issues as an excuse to deter the development of developing countries.
Last but not least, the EU's move has severely undermined hard-won progress in China-EU relations, which is not in the interests of both sides.
The achievements in the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership did not come easily. The EU side should cherish the hard-won situation and create more favorable conditions for China-EU relations, so as to benefit people of both sides.
In addition, in face of increasingly complex global challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, China and the EU need to cooperate rather than confront each other, and their cooperation is of great global significance.
That is why the EU's sanctions are harmful. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has pointed out that the EU's sanctions were extremely damaging, as they would continue to "poison EU-China cooperation."
Therefore, it is high time that the EU reflected on itself and made positive efforts to redress the situation.
What is worth mentioning is that also on Monday, China announced sanctions against 10 individuals and four entities on the EU side as they had severely harmed China's sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and disinformation.
It sends out a clear message that if the EU, or any other Western country, goes further down the wrong path, China will surely make resolute responses. Enditem