....But Just a patchwork of disinformation
Editor’s note: The views expressed in this commentary are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent that of the Daily Observer newspaper. By H.E. REN Yisheng, Ambassador of China to Liberia
The so-called "assessment of human rights concerns" report on China's Xinjiang region, which was released recently by the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), was mulled since 2019 without taking Chinese government's advice or getting authorization from the UN Human Rights Council(UNHRC) or having credible basis. It is nothing but just a patchwork of disinformation.
Why the “report” can not be trusted
The OHCHR is a department of the UN Secretariat that should work to offer assistance and help to the UNHRC, including fulfilling its responsibilities in accordance with related UN resolutions and under the authority of the UNHRC. As a department of the UN human rights body, OHCHR should abide by the UN Charter and universal, objective, non-political principles to promote international exchanges on human rights development and constructive dialogues among member states. It should not interfere with the internal affairs of state members.
On May 28 this year, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights(High Commissioner), ended her visit to China, including China's Xinjiang region. She was presented with the measures taken and achievements made in the region on counter-terrorism and de-radicalization, social and economic development, ethnicity and religion, and protection of labor rights. She also had conversations with people from various communities, including ethnic minorities, academics, and representatives of different social sectors. Upon winding up the visit, the High Commissioner issued a statement to represent her and the OHCHR's stance on Xinjiang region, appreciated the Chinese government's invitation, and briefed on her visit to Urumqi, the regional capital, and Kashi prefecture of the Xinjiang region. She noted that her mission had wide and open discussions with people from different sectors in the region, including prisoners and former trainees of vocational education and training centers and all these meetings were “unsupervised.” Her remarks countered the lie of the century made by the US and some Western forces on “genocide,” “forced labor” or “forced sterilization.”
However, this OHCHR "report" was based only on overseas anti-China forces' political needs, did not seek the Chinese government's advice and was not authorized by the UNHRC. Media also disclosed that OHCHR has been preparing the “report” since 2019, which means that the "report" was not based on the High Commissioner’s visit to the Xinjiang region in May. On the contrary, the timeline OHCHR started the "report" coincided with the start of the US and some Western forces to ramp up efforts in hyping Xinjiang-related topics to attack China on different platforms, which also proved the "report" was made to serve the purpose to counter China.
Why the US and some Western forces’ response is ridiculous
The US and some Western forces have showed welcome to the “report”. However, while the “report” was being prepared, the US and some Western forces urged the High Commissioner to visit China. Their plan was to push the High Commissioner to conduct investigation in China with presumption of guilt and to further perfect their groundless accusation against China. They had expected China to reject the High Commissioner’s visit. But their plans failed as China and the High Commissioner did not act as they had wished, which later led to a series of inconsistent farces.
When China and the High Commissioner reached an agreement on her visit to China in May 2022, the US and some Western forces seemed to be in panic and changed their rhetoric by putting forward a bunch of conditions for the visit, stressing “unlimited visit” and even requesting the High Commissioner to cancel the visit. For example, the US State Department claimed in May that the High Commissioner's decision to visit China was wrong. Some US politicians and lawmakers also hyped that Bachelet’s visit would be used by China for “propaganda.” Ironically, it is they who urged the High Commissioner to come to China and it is also they who opposed the visit and it is still the same group of people who were not satisfied after the High Commissioner’s visit.
When realizing that the High Commissioner did not act as what they had planned and expected, the US and some Western forces cannot wait further. After Bachelet ended her visit to China, the US, some Western forces and anti-China NGOs started stormy attacks and accused her of not effectively dealing with China's “human rights abuse.” They not only asked her to resign but also further pressured the OHCHR to immediately release the “report” in an attempt to use the “report” to launch another round of anti-China attacks. The US has also put into effect the so-called Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act to maliciously suppress Xinjiang's cotton, tomato, solar photovoltaic and other advantageous industries. It proves that their true purpose is just to suppress the competitive advantages of Xinjiang's industries, exclude China from the global supply chain and industrial chain, and contain China's development. People can see that those who claim to “care about” the human rights situation in China's Xinjiang region do not care about the true situation but only ask all parties to cater to their lies and rumors on the region.
The real human rights issues that the international community should pay close attention to and urgently address are the genocide of American Indians, the worsening gun violence, the systematic racial discrimination against ethnic minorities, and the vast number of victims trafficked into modern slavery and forced labor in the US, the illegal unilateral sanctions against other countries, and crimes against humanity for the killings of civilians in overseas, serious regression of women’s rights, torture and abuse in overseas black sites, and military operations in regions like Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and so on. The OHCHR should immediately conduct serious investigations and release reports on these serious human rights violations conducted by the US and the West so as to give an explanation to the international community and to the victims.
Why China’s efforts on Xinjiang region are widely supported
From 1990 to the end of 2016, separatist, terrorist and extremist forces, by colluding with overseas forces, launched thousands of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, resulting in the killings of hundreds of innocent people and police officers, and causing immeasurable damage to property. Against such a background, in accordance with the law and by borrowing the successful de-radicalization practices of other countries including the West, the Xinjiang regional government has taken effective measures to fight against terrorism and extremism and has effectively curbed the frequent occurrences of terrorist activities in Xinjiang. There have been no more terrorist attacks in the Xinjiang region for five consecutive years since 2017 and the social security situation has fundamentally improved with the rights to life and development of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang well protected.
It was also since 2017, and not reconciled to their failure on stirring up separatism and troubles in the region, anti-China forces turned to spread rumors and tell lies to attack China. The OHCHR suddenly had interests in “caring about” human rights situation in the region while remained blind to previous frequent occurrence of terrorist attacks there, which also raised questions on its true purpose of paying attention to the region.
The vast developing countries have been vigilant to the US and the West which use the OHCHR to attack rival countries, and expressed their strong opposition. China has made a joint statement on behalf of nearly 100 countries, including Muslim countries and many African countries, at the UNHRC to urge the OHCHR to strictly abide by the UN Charter, uphold true multilateralism, respect sovereignty and integrity of member states, carry out constructive dialogue and cooperation and oppose politicizing human rights issues or adopting double standards.
Many developing countries have voiced their support for China's legitimate position on Xinjiang-related issues through joint statements, letters or other means, opposing the attempt of interfering in China's internal affairs in the name of so-called human rights issues. The number of countries joining in such righteous cause has increased from 50 in 2017 to nearly 100 today and continues to grow. Over 60 developing countries jointly wrote to Michelle Bachelet after she visited China and hailed her visit and the positive achievement reached with the Chinese side, and they also expressed grave concerns as the OHCHR drafted the report without authorization. They believed the publication of the report would undermine OHCHR's cooperation with member states and strongly called on Bachelet to reject the release of the report.
Meanwhile, around 1,000 Chinese and foreign NGOs jointly wrote to Bachelet appealing to the OHCHR to respect the grave concerns of all the Chinese people and the international community and uphold justice and reject to release the report. People from Xinjiang also wrote to Bachelet introducing the true situation of Xinjiang in countering terrorism and maintaining stability.
Xinjiang is a beautiful place
In recent years, Xinjiang has enjoyed sustained economic growth, social harmony and stability, better living standards, cultures thriving like never before. GDP in Xinjiang has an average annual growth rate of around 7 percent, while per capita disposable income grew by an average annual rate of around 9 percent. All remaining 3.09 million impoverished people have been lifted out of poverty. All ethnic groups, regardless of their populations, have equal legal status and enjoy freedom of religious belief and various rights in accordance with the law, including participating in the management of state affairs, receiving education, using their own languages, and preserving their traditional culture.
It should be pointed out that, with less than 10% of the world population, the West takes up more than 80% of OHCHR posts. Now we can conclude that the so-call assessment report on China's Xinjiang region released by the OHCHR was orchestrated and produced by the US and some Western forces and was a patchwork of disinformation that serves as a political tool for them to strategically use Xinjiang-related issues to smear and contain China. This political farce is self-contradictory and self-defeating. It also drives the OHCHR further away from the principles of universality, objectivity, non-selectivity and non-politicization.
The OHCHR "report" is just a sheet of waste paper, and the US and the West's attempt to use Xinjiang-related issues to contain China is a wrong calculation and will never succeed. The 1.4 billion Chinese people including 25 million people in Xinjiang will never accept such moves.
Finally, in case the Liberia friends want to find truth and facts about counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts and human rights situation in Xinjiang, they are welcome to read a report issued by the Xinjiang regional government at the following link: