Beijing has lashed Australia over war crime allegations and historical racism as it revealed only “unbiased” foreigners would be allowed to visit Xinjiang province, where human rights groups say Uyghurs are facing genocide.
In a scathing attack, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying attacked the Morrison government over a push for accountability and greater transparency in the region.
Ms Hua was on Wednesday asked about Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne’s joint call with New Zealand for China to grant “meaningful and unfettered access” to Xinjiang for United Nations experts and other independent observers.
“The door to Xinjiang is always open,” she said.
“We welcome any unbiased foreigners to visit Xinjiang. But firmly oppose any so-called ‘investigation’ and ‘accountability’ with presumption of guilt, and stand against anyone using this for political manoeuvre to pressure China.”
Australian federal politicians this week spoke in support of a motion that notes human rights abuse against Uyghurs and forced labour in Xinjiang, as western countries imposed sanctions on Beijing.
But Ms Hua turned the tables on Canberra.
“I wonder how is Australia doing with those investigations into their soldiers’ grave crimes in Afghanistan that were exposed not long ago?” she said.
“Will Five Eyes countries including the US and the UK, and the EU consider sanctions on Australia?
“In Australia, there was the infamous White Australia policy, under which genocide was committed against Aboriginal people and 100,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly taken away from their families.
“Did the Australian side hold accountable those who caused pain to the Stolen Generation?”
Ms Hua also unleashed on an Australian journalist who accused her of being contradictory when it came to interfering in other nations’ affairs.
“As an Australian, you know very well whether there were policies to slaughter and assimilate the Aboriginal people in the history of your country,” she said.
“China stick to noninterference into other country’s domestic affairs.
“But why can’t (we) point out Australia’s mistake, when the country shy away from its own problems, and groundlessly accuse China on the basis of lies, rumours and disinformation.”
Beijing again demanded Australia take “concrete actions” to improve the relationship between the two trading partners.