Russia and China jointly condemned Western sanctions, one day after the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada blacklisted some of the top Chinese officials over human rights violations against the Uyghur minority.
The joint attack of the two countries came during the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Guilin, southern China.
The Russian minister said that the “unilateral decisions” of the European Union “destroyed” ties with Russia.
His Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, said the era of interference in Chinas internal affairs is “forever long.”
This is the first time that the European Union has imposed new sanctions on China over the violation of human rights since Chinas suppression of protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 of the last century.
What are the targets of Western sanctions?
The Western allies imposed sanctions on Russian officials close to Russian President Vladimir Putin over issues including:
• Russias annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014
• The conflict in eastern Ukraine
Allegations of Russias interference in the 2016 US presidential elections
• The nerve gas attacks against former spy Sergei Skripal and anti-Putin political activist Alexei Navalny.
The Kremlin, however, denies the Western allegations.
During his visit to Brussels, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also stressed his country’s strong opposition to the Russian gas pipelines that will be built in the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
And there is the possibility of imposing US sanctions on Germany because of the gas pipeline, which is nearing completion, because the US administration considers it a Russian tool to sow more divisions within Europe.
And cut gas pipelines Ukraine, and Poland, which in turn opposed this pipeline.
Lavrov said he and the Chinese foreign minister agreed that sanctions were “unacceptable” in managing international relations.
China has detained more than a million Uighurs, most of whom profess Islam, in camps in northwestern China in the Xinjiang region where allegations of torture, forced labor and sexual abuse have surfaced.
However, China denies the Western accusations, saying that these facilities are merely re-education centers “used in the fight against terrorism.”
China responded to the Western sanctions by imposing sanctions on European officials on Monday.