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China, Russia slam West for 'interference' after human rights sanctions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and  Chinese counterpart Wang Yi (R) issued a joint statement Tuesday in Guilin, China, saying that the domestic affairs of Beijing and Moscow should not be of outside concern. Photo by Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry/EPA-EFE
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and  Chinese counterpart Wang Yi (R) issued a joint statement Tuesday in Guilin, China, saying that the domestic affairs of Beijing and Moscow should not be of outside concern. Photo by Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry/EPA-EFE

March 23 (UPI) -- China and Russia denounced recent moves by the United States and the European Union to punish human rights violations in both countries and called on the United Nations Security Council to build dialogue.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday in a joint statement that the domestic affairs of Beijing and Moscow should not be of outside concern.

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That came a day after the United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada sanctioned Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

"Interference in a sovereign nation's internal affairs under the excuse of 'advancing democracy' is unacceptable," the joint statement read.

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The two countries also said the U.N. Security Council, on which China and Russia are permanent members, should promote international stability.

"At a time of increasing global political turbulence, a summit of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council is particularly necessary to establish direct dialogue about ways to resolve humankind's common problems in the interests of maintaining global stability," the statement read.

According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Wang said Tuesday countries antagonistic toward Chinese policies would not meet their objectives.

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"In the last few days, a few Western powers have stepped up on the stage and launched a smear campaign against China," Wang reportedly said. "However, they should know that the days of inadvertently interfering with Chinese internal affairs by inventing lies have already passed."

China and Russia are strengthening ties at a time when Russia also faces EU sanctions after the conviction of Russian dissident Alexey Navalny.

Alexei Maslov, acting director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Far Eastern Studies, told Tass news agency that China is seeking Russia's help because of the Biden administration's approach to Beijing.

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"China can see that Biden's policy will be tougher than that of Trump. China had hopes that Biden will act more reasonably than Trump, but these hopes have been dashed, so China is trying to find other ways to strengthen its position," Maslov said.

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