The United States is using democracy as a “weapon of mass destruction” to interfere in other countries and to sow division and chaos, says a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson.
The remarks come following a hostile move by Washington to exclude Beijing from a so-called summit on democracy.
China, along with such other countries as Russia and Hungary, was left out of the two-day US-organized virtual Summit for Democracy which aimed to shore up like-minded allies in the face of autocratic regimes.
"Democracy has long become a weapon of mass destruction used by the US to interfere in other countries," the spokesperson said in an online statement, which also accused the US of having "instigated color revolutions" overseas.
The Chinese official said the summit was organized to "draw lines of ideological prejudice, instrumentalize and weaponize democracy... (and) incite division and confrontation."
Vowing to "resolutely resist and oppose all kinds of pseudo-democracies,” Beijing also blasted the so-called US democracy as corrupt and a failure.
The US held the virtual summit on Thursday and Friday, bringing together more than a hundred world leaders. Taiwan, a self-ruled island claimed by China, was also invited.
The administration of US President Joe Biden on Friday imposed sanctions on two high-level Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang region.
Washington announced earlier in the week that it would not send a diplomatic delegation to Beijing for the Winter Olympics games in February citing alleged rights violations by China against the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.
Australia, Britain and Canada followed suit and announced similar decisions.
Responding to the politically-motivated move, the Chinese foreign ministry warned that the United States and its allies will “pay the price” for their diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Denouncing the diplomatic boycott as “a serious stain on the spirit of the Olympic Charter,” Beijing called on the Biden administration to drop the plan as it would further damage bilateral ties.
The United States and China are profoundly at odds over a raft of issues, including the self-ruled island of Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), alleged abuses of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, trade tariffs, climate change and global public health.
China has repeatedly dismissed accusations of mistreatment and forced labor in Xinjiang and says its policies are necessary to stamp out separatists and religious extremists who plotted attacks and stirred up tension between mostly Muslim ethnic Uyghurs and Han, China's largest ethnic group.
The world’s two largest economies are also competing in technology, and maneuver for military advantages on land, in outer space and in cyberspace.