A columnist at Chinese state media outlet Global Times has defended Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s outburst against a Canadian journalist who asked about human rights.

The reporter asked Wang about issues of human rights in China on Wednesday, especially China’s treatment of cases such as the Hong Kong booksellers. “Your question is full of prejudice against China and arrogance, and I don’t know where that comes from. This is totally unacceptable,” Wang said.

“I have to tell you, the people who know best about China’s human rights is not you, but the Chinese people themselves. You don’t have a say but China has,” he added.

The column, whose author is unknown, said “reporters from the West think that they have the power to ask any kind of question in the way they like and they almost do not think that sometimes they are wrong. When interacting with other civil cultures, [they behave] as if whatever they do is the standard.”

“Because Western media have absolute advantage in media, they always ignore those with other value systems being oppressed and their attitude is very barbaric,” it added.

Wang Yi. Photo: Screenshots via CBC.

It said that the west did not expect Wang to respond in such a way because western societies are used to domineering their non-Western counterparts. The column also said that there are some countries which are small but have someone working on human rights affairs in their embassies in China. “They absolutely do not understand the width and layers of Chinese human rights work,” it said.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.