China says the US and its allies must be held accountable for human rights violations in Afghanistan

·2 min read
Chinese Ambassador Chen Xu
Chinese Ambassador to the UN Chen Xu attends a Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Switzerland in 2020. Denis Balibouse/REUTERS
  • China said the US and its allies must be held accountable for human rights violations in the war in Afghanistan, per Reuters.

  • China's UN ambassador said these countries caused "great suffering" while "under the banner of democracy and human rights."

  • Meanwhile, China has been establishing friendly relations with the Taliban after the Islamist group's takeover.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

China's ambassador to the United Nations said the US must be "held accountable" for what he alleged were human rights violations committed by the American military in Afghanistan, reported Reuters.

"The US, UK, Australia, and other countries must be held accountable for the violation of human rights committed by their military in Afghanistan and the evolution of this current session should cover this issue," envoy Chen Xu said at an emergency UN Human Rights Council session on Tuesday. The council discussed reports of violence and abuse by the Taliban, which took the Afghan capital of Kabul on August 15.

Chen did not specify what the alleged violations were, but said the US and other countries caused "great suffering" with their military intervention in sovereign countries "under the banner of democracy and human rights," per Reuters.

US-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001 following the September 11 attacks, and established a military presence there for the next 20 years until their recent withdrawal.

Amnesty International and other organizations reported that thousands of Afghans had been killed as a result of the war in Afghanistan, with civilian casualties inflicted by all parties involved. Around 700 Afghan civilians were killed by US-led drone and air strikes in 2019 alone, according to a study by Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

China itself is no stranger to accusations of human rights violations. Its treatment of ethnic Uyghurs in the province of Xinjiang has come under international scrutiny for crimes against humanity, and the US announced sanctions on several Chinese officials for what it called "genocide."

Meanwhile, China has been taking jabs at the US and its allies for the chaos that has ensued after the Taliban took Kabul. China is one of the world's first nations to recognize and entreat with the new Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, and Beijing has been widely speculated to be eyeing an over $1 trillion mineral deposit there.

"We will continue developing a good neighborly, friendly, and cooperative relationship with Afghanistan and continue our constructive role in its process of peace and reconstruction," Chen also said on Tuesday.

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