Chinese FM slams US for huge harm caused by unexploded bombs it left in Southeast Asia

Global Times
Lin Congyi
2022-05-12 19:18:40
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian Photo:

The US has committed countless and outrageous crimes by using cluster bombs and biochemical weapons in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam during the Vietnam War, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday in response to the recently found 500 kilograms of US-made explosives in front of the Cambodian Royal Palace.

The US should clear the bombs and mines it left in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia before it talks about protection of democracy and human rights in Southeast Asia, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian after listing the enormous harm caused by the large number of explosives left in the three countries.

With historical memory and discerning eyes for right and wrong, Asian countries will not allow the region to become a chessboard for great power games or themselves to be pawns for great power confrontations, the spokesperson emphasized.

Zhao noted that the 80-ton unexploded ordnance left by the US in Vietnam has left more than 40,000 deaths and 60,000 injuries in Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War, and will need 300 years to be completely cleared given the current clearing speed.

"The 2,000,000 gallons of toxic defoliant the US sprayed have infected nearly 5,000,000 Vietnamese, leaving 400,000 deaths and 2,000,000 people with diseases including cancer. Many children were born with deformities and handicaps," added Zhao.

Scattered in 37 percent of Laos' territory, about 80,000,000 bombs left by the US remains unexploded and causes hundreds of accidents in each year with a total of more than 20,000 deaths. "The bombs also badly encumber local economic and social development. Forty-six out of the 47 poverty-stricken areas are within unexploded ordnance concentrated region," Zhao said.

"The incomplete statistics from Yale University showed that the US has dropped more than 270 tons of explosives on Cambodia from October 1965 to August 1973. And according to the Cambodian government, these unexploded ordnance including mines has caused more than 20,000 deaths and 45,000 injuries," said Zhao.

Zhao criticized the US for launching more than 90,000 air strikes in Syria and Iraq over the past 20 years, leaving 48,000 civilian deaths. "While always smearing others as coercion or militarization, the US is the one who causes conflict and imposes coercive diplomacy under the disguise of democracy, human right and rules. This is the very typical American double standard," said Zhao.


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