Fri. Dec 1st, 2023
UN Human Rights CouncilImage Credits: UN news

China on Saturday defended its policies in Xinjiang and referred to the issues as “not related to human rights.” However, it maintained silence on India’s abstention in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the human rights situation in the Xinjiang region.

Comments from China came a day after New Delhi, for the first time, called for the human rights of the people living in the region to be “guaranteed and respected.”

“We hope that the relevant party will address the situation objectively and properly,” Arindam Bagchi, India’s spokesperson, explained the country’s decision to abstain on Friday.

 The motion for debate

The motion for debate on the treatment of the Uighurs and other minorities (mostly Muslim) in the northwest region of Xinjiang in the People’s Republic of China was defeated by 19 votes to 17, with 11 countries abstaining.

Even though China welcomed the decision, others criticized it as “shameful.”

“The inaction shamefully suggests some are free from scrutiny and allowed to violate human rights with impunity,” Michele Taylor, the US representative to UNHRC, said in a statement.

“No country represented here today has a perfect human rights record. No country, no matter how powerful, should be excluded from council discussions-this includes my country, the United States, and it includes the People’s Republic of China.”

China’s Response

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, said: “I want to stress that the issues related to Xinjiang are not related to human rights and are about countering violent terrorism, radicalism, and separatism.”

“Thanks to strenuous efforts, there was no violent terrorist incidents in Xinjiang over five consecutive years,” she said in her media briefing.

In addition, Mao claimed that the votes revealed that “the truth will always prevail.” “The human rights of all ethnic backgrounds in Xinjiang are protected to the greatest extent possible,” she added.

“The voting results at the human rights council reflect the position of the international community, especially developing countries, of firmly rejecting the politicization of human rights issues,” Mao said.

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