China Accuses U.S. of 'Ignoring' the Suffering of Muslims After Beijing Itself Accused of Genocide

China accused the U.S. on Friday of "ignoring" the plight of Muslims after Washington blocked a scheduled U.N. Security Council meeting aimed at addressing the ongoing violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Meanwhile, China has been accused by the U.S. and human rights groups of committing genocide against Muslims and ethnic minorities in the country's Xinjiang province.

The statement from Beijing came after the U.S. blocked an originally scheduled Friday session to address the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. However, diplomats eventually agreed to move the meeting to Sunday, The Times of Israel reported.

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that the U.S. is "standing on the opposite side of the international community" and accused it of failing to recognize the Palestinian struggle.

"What we can feel is that the U.S. keeps saying that it cares about the human rights of Muslims...but it was ignoring the suffering of the Palestinian people," Hua said, according to The Times of Israel.

"The U.S. should realize that the lives of Palestinian Muslims are equally precious," she added.

On Friday, a senior administrative official in the White House told Newsweek that China's statements were "shamefully exploiting" the ongoing conflict while ignoring its own violations against the Uyghur Muslims, a predominantly Turkish Muslim minority.

"The [People's Republic of China] is shamefully exploiting the current situation in Israel for its typical 'whataboutism' cheap shots even as China continues a genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang," the official said.

In Xinjiang, China has been accused of placing more than 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities into detainment camps, where they are made to work in hazardous conditions against their will.

In the camps, people have been subjected to torture, sterilization, rape, forced labor and political indoctrination, according to U.S. and international officials. China has also targeted the ethnic minority through an aggressive hacking campaign that attacks social media, phones and other technologies.

Earlier this month, the Group of Seven nations—which consist of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—released a statement saying they remain "deeply concerned about human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang."

China, in response, has repeatedly denied the accusations and accused Western states of meddling in its internal affairs.

Israel-Palestine
Israeli troops along the border with the Gaza Strip on May 14. Menahem KAHANA / AFP/Getty Images

This week, Beijing has taken an active role in discussing the latest escalation of violence in the Middle East. On Monday, China said it was ready to play a "constructive role" in meditating peace in the region, while urging the U.N. to work toward de-escalating the conflict.

The U.S. has defended both sides, stating that "Israel has the right to defend itself and to respond to rocket attacks" while "the Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security, just as Israelis do."

"We call on all sides to exercise restraint, exercise calm," State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday. "The United States will continue to remain engaged with senior Israeli officials and Palestinian leadership in the days and weeks ahead."

Seven people have been killed in Israel, including a 6-year-old boy and a soldier, according to the Associated Press. Palestinian officials have reported the death toll in Gaza at 119, with 830 wounded, the AP said.