Thu | Feb 27, 2020

Embassy defends China’s rights record

Published:Tuesday | January 28, 2020 | 12:19 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

Smarting from a Sunday Gleaner column penned by Donald Tapia, the United States’ top diplomat in Jamaica, the Embassy of China has ratcheted up the temperature with a staunch defence of the Asian country’s record on human rights.

After dismissing the US as troublemakers on the back of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Jamaica, where he warned Caribbean leaders to view with suspicion investments from China, the embassy asserted that its more than 1.4 billion nationals enjoy peace and freedom.

Chief of the Political Section, Xia Shaowu, said that his country deems important the promotion of human rights.

“Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Communist Party of China has always been striving to pursue happiness for the people and development for mankind,” Xia said.

The embassy said it opposes the “accusation against China under the guise of freedom and human rights, which was made by Mr Tapia” and has slammed the US for its “ideology-driven double standards, viewing China through coloured lens, using freedom and human rights as a political tool, and wilfully pointing fingers at China, while disregarding human rights problems in his own country”.

“All world’s major religions, including Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Christianity, are practised in China with nearly 200 million religious believers, over 380,000 religious personnel, and 144,000 lawfully registered religious sites for worship,” Xi said.

Under the heading ‘The value of freedom’, Tapia wrote that the Communist Party of China’s view of governance was vastly different from the open, democratic traditions of most countries in the Western Hemisphere, especially in the defence of free speech and human rights.

Meanwhile, Tapia will be the guest speaker at the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica Business & Civic Leadership Awards today.

Previously announced keynote speaker, Thomas F. Gilman, the chief financial officer and assistant secretary for administration of the Department of Commerce, had to cancel because of an unexpected death in his family.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com