Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian claimed that racism and hatred spread by American politicians contributed to the shootings at massage parlors in the Atlanta, Georgia area, according to a Thursday daily press briefing.
Lijan addressed the rising violence and discrimination being waged against Asian Americans in the United States, stating it makes the Chinese “furious and sad,” according to the transcript of the daily briefing.
“In fact, racial discrimination has been in the US system for such a long time, without being attended to, and it is not just the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who are the victims,” Lijan said, citing the Black Lives Matter protests during the summer of 2020 which stemmed from George Floyd’s death.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Thursday said that he hopes the United States can listen to voices from its citizens and the international community and take concrete actions to solve its own issues of racism and discrimination. https://t.co/k61rbCqOPX
— China News 中国新闻网 (@Echinanews) March 18, 2021
Lijian noted that American politicians have played a role in promoting anti-Asian sentiment inside the United States.
“I must point out that some politicians in the last US administration and some anti-China forces inside the US, holding onto their zero-sum game mindset and ideological prejudice, have been fabricating and spreading lies and disinformation about China, fanning racism and hatred, condoning discriminatory behaviors against Chinese nationals in the US including Chinese students, and even spying, harassing, cross-examining and arresting them for no cause at all,” Lijian said in the briefing.
A mass shooting at Atlanta massage parlors left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. The 21-year old suspect told the police that the attack was not racially motivated, but instead stemmed from his “sex addiction,” according to the AP.
Authorities are still investigating whether the shooting constituted a hate crime.
“The US side should take concrete steps to address its own problems of racism and discrimination, and ensure the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the US,” Lijian continued.
The Chinese government’s direct targeting of Uighur Muslims and other minorities was detailed in an independent report published earlier in March.
“China’s policies and practices targeting [Uighurs] in the region must be viewed in their totality, which amounts to an intent to destroy the Uighurs as a group, in whole or in part,” the report stated.
Lijian has denounced the claims of genocide against the Uighurs, citing the growing population, “the population of Uighurs in Xinjiang grew from 5.55 million to 11.68 million, registering a 2.1 times increase and accounting for about 46.8 percent of the total population of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” in a June 2020 briefing.
An investigation by the AP also found proof that the Chinese government is committing “demographic genocide” against the Uighur Muslim through the means of mass detentions, forced abortions and more.(RELATED: China Committing ‘Demographic Genocide’ Against Uighurs Through Forced Abortion, Sterilization, Mass Detention, AP Investigation Finds)