A Chinese envoy on Wednesday rejected accusations by the United States, Britain and the European Union that China commits human rights abuses against its ethnic minorities.
China's permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun called the accusations unfounded.
Speaking at a high-level meeting to mark the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Zhang said that over the past three decades, progress has been made in implementing the declaration.
However, minorities still face challenges like racism, discrimination, xenophobia, violence and hatred, he said, adding that the international community still has a long way to go to translate the commitments set out in the declaration into reality.
He said countries must continue their relentless efforts to better protect the rights of minorities and take a multi-pronged approach involving policy, legislative and administrative measures to eliminate racism, discrimination and hatred.
There is a need to incorporate equal development for minorities into overall national development, and combine it with achieving Sustainable Development Goals, said Zhang.
"We must make targeted efforts to address the practical problems facing minorities, such as poverty, education and health care. And we must stay committed to dialogue and cooperation, and oppose the use of human rights issues to provoke division and confrontation for political self-interests. Together, we must truly create a peaceful and just environment for minorities to survive and thrive," he said.
Zhang said China's Xinjiang is home to 56 ethnic groups, including the Han, the Uyghur and the Kazak, adding that with the joint efforts of people from all ethnic groups, Xinjiang has enjoyed sustained economic growth, social harmony and stability, continuous livelihood improvements, cultural prosperity and religious harmony. These facts are there for all to see, he said.
Unfortunately, representatives of the United States, Britain and the EU, in total disregard of facts, are abusing the General Debate of the UN General Assembly and the high-level commemorative meeting to make unfounded accusations against China, which China categorically rejects, said Zhang.
Ironically, the United States, Britain and the EU have listed all sorts of unfounded charges against other countries but are afraid to face their own problems. The United States ought to face up to the genocide of Native Americans and ensure accountability and compensation, eradicate systematic racial discrimination against Asians and other ethnic minorities, eliminate social injustice, and allow ethnic minorities to breathe freely and develop equally, he said.
"We call on the Human Rights Council and the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues to continue to follow the infringement on minorities' rights by countries like the United States. We urge those few countries to stop the politicization of human rights issues, stop their double standards, stop their interference in other countries' internal affairs, and work earnestly to address their own human rights issues," said Zhang.