China rubbishes Xinjiang report as ‘farce by US,’ calls UN ‘thug and accomplice’ of West
Xinjiang region is being used as a “political tool” against Beijing, Liu Yuyin, spokesperson for the Chinese mission to Geneva said in a statement
China on Wednesday rubbished the United Nation’s latest assessment of human rights abuses in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), labelling it a “farce planned by the United States.” In angst-laden wording, Beijing slammed the UN as the “thug and accomplice of the West” as it rejected the findings of a 100-page report related to the torture and forced labour against the ethnic Uyghur minority community that took one year in the making.
China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva, in an official statement, claimed that the UN report that found Beijing guilty of committing “serious human rights violations” against the Uyghur is “geopolitically motivated” and is based on the assumption of guilt, as well as uses inauthentic information. Xinjiang region is being used as a “political tool” against Beijing, Liu Yuyin, spokesperson for the Chinese mission to Geneva said, referring to the “so-called ‘assessment’ on Xinjiang.”
UN assessment on Xinjiang is “purely a farce plotted by some Western countries and anti-China forces. They have been consistently pressing the High Commissioner and the OHCHR, and demanding the release of a so-called “assessment” on Xinjiang, so as to bring ammunitions to their political manipulation of Xinjiang-related issues,” a spokesperson for Chinese mission to Geneva, Yuyin said. The latter stressed that the report is completely a “politicized document that disregards facts, and reveals explicitly the attempt of some Western countries and anti-China forces,” Liu said in the statement released by the mission.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, separately denounced the United Nations, saying that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights “has already sunk and has become the thug of US and the West against the vast majority of developing countries”.
Violation of international norms and standards: OHCHR
OHCHR’s report was published just 11 minutes ahead of the end of UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s four-year term. The latter had embarked on a six-day trip to China in May 2022 which included a visit to the contentious Xinjiang province, but on her return, sparked controversy by saying that the visit was “not an investigation.”
The United States accuses China of committing “genocide” against the ethnic minority Uyghur community in western Xinjiang province and has enforced new regulations that ban the imports of products from forced labour in the region. It banned the entry of the products manufactured in Xinjiang under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) which was signed by US President Joe Biden in December 2021.
The UN Human Rights Office initiated an assessment following serious allegations of human rights violations against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim communities brought to the attention of the UN Human Rights Office and UN human rights mechanisms in late 2017.
In its report on Wednesday, which was based on a rigorous review of documentary material made available to the UN Office, OHCHR said that China committed “serious human rights violations” against the ethnic Uyghurs. It described policies and practices in XUAR as one that caused great suffering to Uyghur, Kazakh and other predominantly minority communities, which was exacerbated by patterns of intimidation and threat by the PRC.
OHCHR found new construction or expansion of buildings in Xinjiang with high-security features, especially after 2019, visible through public source satellite imagery (Google Earth), appears to suggest an increase in detention facilities. Credit: OHCHR Report
“The systems of arbitrary detention and related patterns of abuse, far-reaching, arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms, are in violation of international norms and standards,” OHCHR declared in its damning report.