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Remarks by the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Cyprus in Response to the Wrong Remarks Related to China Made by the British High Commissioner to Cyprus

2023-03-30 01:21:54

Question: Recently, British High Commissioner to Cyprus Irfan Siddiq made wrong remarks related to China during an interview with Cypriot media. He claimed that China is not a democracy, human rights are not respected in Xinjiang, and the growth of China’s influence in Cyprus is a concern. What is the response of the Chinese embassy in Cyprus?

Answer: High Commissioner Siddiq has made irresponsible remarks against a third country, which does not fit his status as a diplomatic envoy in Cyprus. He has ignored the basic facts, played up the false narrative of democracy vs. authoritarianism, arbitrarily interfered in China’s domestic affairs, and made the vicious attempt to disrupt the growth of China-Cyprus relations. The Chinese side expresses strong dissatisfaction with and firm opposition to his remarks.

Democracy is the common value of humanity, yet there is no one-size-fits-all democratic model in the world. Human civilization is like a colorful garden, where democratic models of different countries flourish.

China practices whole-process people’s democracy, which puts people first and features democratic participation, consultation and oversight throughout the process. The just concluded Two Sessions is a vivid example of the whole-process people’s democracy. It is up to its people to decide whether a country is democratic or not. According to a survey by Harvard Kennedy School, the Chinese people’s satisfaction rate of the government has remained ready at over 90% for 10 years.

In comparison, what is the satisfaction rate of the British people with their government? Apart from casting votes during election, has the right of the ordinary British people been ensured to participate in the deliberation and administration of state affairs, and to supervise the work of the government? Who has the real say on state policies, the general public or a small number of politicians? It needs to be stressed that no one is in a position to lecture others on democracy, especially against China, a country with 1.4 billion population and thousands of years of history and civilization.

Speaking of the human rights situation in Xinjiang, we would like to ask High Commissioner Siddiq: Have you ever been to Xinjiang? Do you truly understand the situation there? As a matter of fact, China has been committed to a people-centered development philosophy. With human rights protection written into our constitution, we have taken a human rights development path that fits the trend of the times and our domestic conditions.

Today’s Xinjiang enjoys economic development, social harmony and stability, improving livelihood, cultural prosperity, and freedom of religion. Unprecedented achievements have been made in the human rights cause in Xinjiang. In addition, thanks to the effective counter-terrorism and de-radicalization struggles, the human rights of the people in Xinjiang have been firmly protected. We welcome the visits of people around the world to China, including to Xinjiang, where you will see with your own eyes what is truly happening. Meanwhile, we are firmly opposed to the attempt of some to attack and discredit China through Xinjiang-related affairs.

China is a development partner and opportunity, not a challenge or threat, for countries around the world. China maintains that countries need to take a development path befitting their own national conditions and people’s needs. We have never exported our system or conducted competition over systems.

China has all along been a builder of world peace, contributor to global development, defender of the international order, and promoter of the progress of human civilization. China maintains that the future of humanity needs to be in the hands of all countries, international rules need to be made by all countries, global affairs need to be governed by all countries, and development outcomes need to be shared among all countries.

The vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, put forward by the Chinese side, reflects the common aspirations of people around the world, and represents the right direction of human development and progress. This stands in sharp contrast with the attempt of some countries to gang up with each other, create bloc confrontation, and conduct hegemonic, domineering and bullying acts in the name of “democracy” and “freedom”.

In the past over five decades since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China and Cyprus have always respected and trusted each other, firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns, and constantly deepened and consolidated mutually beneficial cooperation. In this way, we have set a good example of equality and friendly coexistence between countries with different sizes. The China-Cyprus relationship carries the friendship and expectations of the two peoples. It allows no interference or disruption by any individual or country.

Speaking of Britain, what has it done for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, development and prosperity of Cyprus? How has the Cyprus Question emerged? Even today, Britain still has two sovereign military bases in Cyprus, accounting for 3% of the Cypriot territory. What does this imply? In such context, we urge some individual not to point fingers at the growth of relations between Cyprus and other countries, but to do more things conducive to the well-being of the Cypriot people.    

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