Urging a political solution in Afghanistan, China on Thursday asked the UK to investigate its soldiers for war crimes in Afghanistan and other countries.
“We urge the UK to conduct thorough investigations into its atrocities including abusing and killing innocent civilians during wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, hold those guilty of international crimes accountable and give a responsible response to the international community,” Lijian Zhao, spokesman for Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a news conference in Beijing.
The statement came after the US officially declared on Wednesday to exit Afghanistan by September after 20 years of war.
Also, the British lawmakers in the House of Commons will vote on April 22 whether to declare a genocide is underway in China’s Xinjiang province which is dominated by ethnic Uyghurs who are mostly Muslims.
Lijian said some western countries, including the UK, have long “been politicizing human rights issues and applying double standard,” according to state broadcaster CGTN.
“Styling themselves as lecturers, they interfere and pressure other countries while turning a blind eye to their own grave human rights conditions,” he added.
“China calls for resolution of Afghanistan issue through political means,” Lijian said, adding Beijing will continue to “maintain communication and cooperation in this regard and play a constructive role in ensuring long-term peace and stability in the war-torn country.”
He said Afghan security situation “remains grim and complex.”
“The problem of terrorism is far from being resolved,” he added.
“China’s position is always consistent and clear that foreign troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan appropriately to ensure the situation there remains stable and orderly and to prevent a regrouping of terrorist forces,” the Chinese official was quoted as saying.
Urging the US to respect Afghanistan’s sovereign independence and territorial integrity, Lijian said linking the US withdrawal plan with the “so-called response to China’s challenge” reflects the “dark psychology of some people and deep-seated Cold War mindset and zero-sum game mentality.”
These remarks could undermine the mutual trust between China and the US, he warned, adding they are “not conducive to the coordination and cooperation between the two countries on international and regional issues.”