China knocks Yellen over call for ‘unified front’ between US, Europe

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen answers questions during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to examine the FY 2022 budget request for the Treasury Department on June 23
Greg Nash

China on Tuesday knocked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s call for the U.S. and Europe to come together as a “unified front” against Chinese human rights abuses and “unfair economic practices,” according to The Associated Press.

“China strongly deplores and rejects Treasury Secretary Yellen’s remarks,” Zhao Lijian, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said, according to the news outlet.

Yellen made her comments during a meeting in Brussels with European Union officials on Tuesday as President Biden tries to restore alliances that trailed off during former President Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign policy.

“Together, we need to counter threats to the principles of openness, fair competition, transparency and accountability,” Yellen reportedly said. “These challenges include China’s unfair economic practices, malign behavior and human rights abuses. The more we confront these threats with a unified front, the more successful we will be.”

Zhao responded by blasting Yellen’s remarks, saying that Beijing has “always firmly supported” the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) multilateral trading system, the AP reported.

China’s ruling Communist Party has denied accusations that it has pressured Europe, the U.S. or other international countries to hand over their technology or that it has barred other industries from competition, which would be a violation of the country’s WTO commitments, according to the AP.

The country has also rejected accusations that it has carried out human rights abuses against Muslim ethnic minorities in its Xinjiang region. On Monday, the Biden administration released its annual State Department report to Congress, which included renewed genocide allegations against China.

“The U.S. is obsessed with playing up and churning out Xinjiang-related lies,” Zhao said, according to the AP. “The U.S. is in no position to judge the human rights situation in other countries,” he added, before saying that the U.S. should “make more effort in solving its own human rights problems.”

Zhao also slammed recent financial and travel sanctions imposed by Washington and the European Union on China due to human rights abuses, the AP reported.

“We do not bully and impose sanctions at every turn, nor do we exercise long-arm jurisdiction against other countries’ enterprises,” Zhao said. 

Tags China China-U.S. relations Donald Trump Human rights Janet Yellen Janet Yellen Joe Biden trade war
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