6 May 2021

Parliament human rights vote 'gross interference in China's internal affairs'

6:02 pm on 6 May 2021

China has issued a statement that has strongly criticised Parliament's declaration of human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

China and New Zealand two flags on flagpoles and blue cloudy sky background

China says the House vote was gross interference in its internal affairs and was deplorable. Photo: 123RF

Parliament unanimously made the declaration yesterday, but stopped short of calling the treatment of Uyghur people genocide.

In a statement from the Chinese Embassy website, it said declaration was "in total disregard of China's solemn position".

"This move grossly interferes in China's internal affairs, and runs counter to international law and basic norms governing international relations.

"The Chinese side deplores and firmly opposes such action," it said.

It stated that the accusations are "groundless" and Xinjiang-related issues are about countering violent terrorism, radicalization and separatism.

"Using Xinjiang-related issue to pressure China will go nowhere but to harm the mutual trust between China and NZ.

"We urge the New Zealand side to respect truth and facts, stop the erroneous practices immediately and uphold China-New Zealand relations through concrete actions," it said.

A spokesperson said it hoped New Zealand's Parliament will do more to strengthen the friendship and co-operation between the two countries- not the other way around.

Ardern said the comments were not unexpected.

"There have been a number of statements that have been made globally on the human rights of the Uyghur people.

"Unlike many others there were no abstentions on our motion, ours was one that was supported by the parliament and is in line other statements that we've made calling out what consider to be the credible evidence of human rights abuses there," she said.

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