UN Dismisses Debate on China’s Alleged Xinjiang Abuses

UN Dismisses Debate on China’s Alleged Xinjiang Abuses
Last updated Oct 10, 2022
Image credit: axios


  • On Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) rejected a Western-led motion to hold a debate on alleged Chinese human rights abuses after a UN report concluded that China's actions against the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang may constitute crimes against humanity.
  • The motion for a debate was defeated by a vote of 19 to 17, with 11 countries abstaining. A number of the countries that voted "no" were Muslim-majority nations, such as Indonesia, Somalia, Pakistan, the UAE, and Qatar.
  • The proposal was co-sponsored by the UK, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Australia, and Lithuania. The US envoy to the UNHRC, Michele Taylor, said she was disappointed by the vote, adding, "we will seek justice and accountability for victims of human rights abuses and violations."
  • Meanwhile, Hua Chunying, China’s foreign affairs spokesperson, said via Twitter that "human rights must not be used as a pretext to make up lies and interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, or to contain, coerce & humiliate others.”
  • The defeat is only the second time in the council's 16-year history that a motion has been rejected, as well as the first time that China's human rights record has been brought to the table.
  • China has faced increasing scrutiny over its treatment of Muslims and other ethnic minorities in recent years, with the US and other Western nations describing the situation as "genocide," which China vehemently denies.


Anti-China narrative

It's hugely disappointing that this motion was shot down, especially by countries with Muslim populations. The proposal only sought to open a debate about China's abuse and mistreatment of Muslims, and it seems that those who voted against it did so out of fear of losing Chinese economic investment.

Pro-China narrative

Though Western nations, specifically the US, love to pontificate about human rights, this is only to serve the West's geopolitical interests. It's quite telling that prominent Muslim-majority countries like the UAE and Qatar chose to vote "no," proving that the developing world is beginning to wake up and challenge Western hegemony over international affairs.

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