China has accused Australia of being part of an “axis of white supremacy” because of our intelligence alliance with Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In its state-run media mouthpiece – the Global Times – Beijing said the alliance, known as Five Eyes, was taking co-ordinated action against China.
“They have formed a US-centred, racist, and mafia-styled community, wilfully and arrogantly provoking China and trying to consolidate their hegemony as all gangsters do,” the tabloid wrote.
“They are becoming a racist axis aimed at stifling the development rights of 1.4 billion Chinese.”
The author wrote that the Five Eyes nations collectively appear to feel as if they have a “civilisation superiority” over China.
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“Five Eyes alliance members are all English-speaking countries. The formation of four states, except the UK, is the result of British colonisation,” they wrote.
“Those countries share the Anglo-Saxon civilisation. The Five Eyes countries have been brought together by the US to become the ‘centre of the West’. They have a strong sense of civilisation superiority.
“The bloc, which was initially aimed at intelligence sharing, has now become an organisation targeting China and Russia. The evil idea of racism has been fermenting consciously or unconsciously in their clashes with the two countries.”
They wrote that Five Eyes had been transformed from the intelligence-sharing mechanism into a “political clique”.
“Global diplomacy in the 21st century must not be hijacked by a fake international community with an axis of white supremacy,” they wrote.
“We cannot allow their selfishness to masquerade as the common morality of the world, and they cannot set the agenda of mankind.”
The strongly-worded piece came just hours after Canada’s House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to declare China’s treatment of its Uighur minority population a genocide yesterday.
They also called on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympic Games from Beijing.
Canada’s move follows similar declarations from the US. In one of his final acts as Donald Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo also declared China’s repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang an act of “genocide”.
Human rights groups say China has dramatically increased its prosecution of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang through the formal court system, handing out long prison terms for dubious charges such as “picking quarrels” and giving gifts to overseas relatives.
These criminal convictions are in addition to the detention of an estimated one million Uighurs and other mainly Muslim minorities in “political education” camps in Xinjiang.
More than 250,000 people in the northwestern region have been formally sentenced and imprisoned since 2016, according to Human Rights Watch.
“Despite the veneer of legality, many of those in Xinjiang’s prisons are ordinary people who were convicted for going about their lives and practising their religion,” HRW researcher Maya Wang said in a statement.
HRW said criminal sentences in the Xinjiang region had spiked between 2017 and 2019 during a crackdown on Uighurs and other mainly Muslim minorities.
Xinjiang courts sentenced nearly 100,000 people in 2017, up from less than 40,000 in 2016, the organisation said, citing government data.
The human rights group said police, prosecutors and courts had been placed under pressure to “deliver swift and harsh punishment” in the name of counter-terrorism, causing many to be imprisoned without committing any genuine offence.
Sentences were handed out for activities including “telling others ‘what is haram and halal’” and bringing gifts to relatives in Turkey, HRW said, noting that prison terms have also grown longer.
Prior to 2017, around 11 per cent of the sentences carried prison terms of over five years. In 2017, 87 per cent did.
A Chinese foreign ministry official rejected the findings of the report on Wednesday, saying HRW “has always been full of prejudice on issues related to China, often spreading false statements to smear China, and their allegations should not be trusted”.
– With AFP