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CHE | Sep 30, 2022

Chinese envoy urges Western countries to reflect on colonial history, right wrongs

/ Our Today

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Ambassador Li Song speaking at the 51st session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. (Photo: Twitter @Amb_LiSong)

Li Song, deputy head of the Chinese mission to the United Nations (UN), on Wednesday (September 28) called on the United States, the United Kingdom and other Western countries to reflect on their colonial
history and correct past mistakes.

Song, during a panel discussion at the ongoing 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council, opined that colonialism is “the historical sin” of those Western countries, “the darkest moment in the history of the
promotion and protection of global human rights and a scar that cannot be healed in the history of human civilisation.”

“Although mankind has entered the 21st century, the legacy of colonialism still exists widely with far-reaching impact,” he said.

He called for full respect for the human rights development path chosen independently by formerly colonised countries, noting that in the current democratic state of international relations, no country should intimidate, oppress or preach to other countries.

“How can those former colonial countries claim themselves as ‘human rights defenders?’ We urge relevant countries to abandon the practice of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of human rights, not to politicise and instrumentalise human rights issues, and not to force regime change in the name of human rights,” Song added.

The Chinese envoy also called for increased economic assistance to former colonised countries.

“Bearing in mind that the prosperity of former colonial countries was built on the sacrifices of former colonized countries, the economic assistance provided by former colonial countries is not a favour
bestowed, but an obligation to be fulfilled,” he said.

He urged developed countries to take more concrete measures in debt relief, development assistance, and technology transfer to help the general realisation of the right to development of former colonised
countries in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several members of the Rastafarian faith did not shy away from their contempt for the British colonialsm regime during a protest of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Jamaica in March 2022. (OUR TODAY photo/GAVIN RILEY)

Calling for eradicating the ideological roots of colonialism, Li also told the panel discussion that colonialism seems to have become a historical vocabulary, while it remains in today’s world in various
forms, including hegemonism, racism, and xenophobia.

“All parties should uphold the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, carry forward common values of all mankind, and promote the healthy development of the global human rights cause,” he said.

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