China accused the US of causing humanitarian disasters through foreign military interventions in a report on Friday that was the latest broadside by Beijing in increasingly contentious relations with the Biden administration.
The report from the government-backed China Society for Human Rights Studies said foreign wars launched under the banner of “humanitarian intervention” have not only cost the belligerent parties a large number of military lives but also caused extremely serious civilian casualties and property damage, leading to horrific humanitarian disasters.
“The selfishness and hypocrisy of the United States have also been fully exposed through these foreign wars,” said the report, which cited a list of what it called US aggression, from its intervention in Greece in 1947 to its opposition to the Venezuelan government in 2019. It cited conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria as major US wars.
“Choosing to use force irrespective of the consequences reveals the hegemonic aspirations of the United States,” the report said. “Only by discarding the hegemonic thinking, which is chiefly motivated by self-interest, can we prevent humanitarian intervention from becoming humanitarian disasters.”
Relations between Washington and Beijing have been fractious over US support for Taiwan and sanctions over Chinese policies including in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea and US calls for more candour from Beijing about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic have further roiled ties.
There have been no major changes on those issues since President Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump. Congress, meanwhile, is preparing to take up new legislation that would underscore the competition with Beijing in foreign affairs, trade and other fields.
Asked on Thursday about that pending legislation, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the administration has been “heartened that there is a good deal of bipartisan agreement when it comes to how we should and could approach the government in Beijing”.
China has struck back with heated rhetoric and visa bans against US officials and others it deems to have damaged its interests through their criticism of Beijing’s human rights record.
Chinese officials delivered unusually sharp remarks at an initial meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin last month, in apparent response to US sanctions against Chinese and Hong Kong officials considered responsible for repression in Xinjiang and the former British colony.
Congress should abandon any legislation targeting China and Washington should “do more things that are conducive to the healthy and stable development of China-US relations,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing on Friday.
“Relevant Americans should abandon the Cold War zero-sum game mindset, treat China and Sino-US relations in an objective and rational manner” and cease interfering in China’s internal affairs, Zhao said.