China report accuses US of causing humanitarian disasters

BEIJING (AP) — China accused the U.S. of causing humanitarian disasters through foreign military interventions in a report Friday that was the latest broadside by Beijing amid increasingly contentious relations with the Biden administration.

The report from the government-backed China Society for Human Rights Studies said foreign wars launched “under the banner of ‘’humanitarian intervention’” have caused “mass casualties, damage to facilities, production stagnation, refugee waves, social unrest, ecological crisis, psychological traumas and other complex social problems,“ according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

“The humanitarian crisis caused by military actions stems from the hegemonic mentality of the United States,” Xinhua quoted the report as saying. It added the disasters could be avoided only by the U.S. abandoning “hegemonic thinking motivated by self-interest.”

Despite hopes for a change in tone, relations between Washington and Beijing have remained as fractious under Biden as they were under his predecessor, who riled China with a trade war, support for Taiwan and sanctions over Chinese polices including in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea and U.S. calls for more candor from Beijing about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic have further roiled ties.

While the new administration has taken no major actions in those areas, it has neither shown any sign of reversing the hardline taken under former president Donald Trump. Congress, meanwhile, is preparing to take up new legislation that would underscore the competition with Beijing in foreign affairs, trade and other fields.

Asked Thursday about that pending legislation, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the administration has been “heartened that there is a good deal of bipartisan agreement when it comes to how we should and could approach the government in Beijing.”

China has struck back with heated rhetoric and visa bans against U.S. officials and others it deems to have damaged its interests through their criticism of Beijing’s human rights record.