Beijing Slams UN Xinjiang-Related Assessment that ‘Smeared & Slandered China’ as ‘US-Planned Farce’
© AP Photo / Andy WongIn this April 14, 2016 file photo, a Chinese national flag flutters against the office buildings in Shanghai, China.
© AP Photo / Andy Wong
The UN report on alleged human rights abuses in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, released late on August 31 after months of delays, concluded that China’s actions “may” constitute international crimes against humanity.
China has condemned the so-called "assessment" on Xinjiang released by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as a “farce planned by the United States, Western nations and anti-China forces.”
Beijing expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the document based on “presumption of guilt and relying on disinformation and fabricated lies,” Liu Yuyin, spokesperson for China's Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva said on Thursday.
The OHCHR report was decried as “smearing and slandering” China, and interfering with its internal affairs.
Beijing added that the OHCHR had assembled its assessment “deliberately ignoring” information and objective materials provided by the Chinese government, “maliciously distorting Chinese laws and policies, and smearing China's Xinjiang fight against terrorism and de-radicalization.”
The Office of the High Commissioner had been pressured to issue the politicized document so as to provide “ammunition for Western political manipulation of Xinjiang-related issues,” concluded Liu Yuyin.
24 December 2021, 12:50 GMT
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin described the report as "completely illegal and void".
"This proves once again that the OHCHR has become a thug and accomplice of the US and the West," he said during a regular daily briefing on Thursday in Beijing.
Ahead of the report’s release, China's ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Zhang Jun, said Beijing had repeatedly voiced opposition to it.
"We all know, so well, that the so-called Xinjiang issue is a completely fabricated lie out of political motivations and its purpose definitely is to undermine China's stability and to obstruct China's development," Zhang told reporters.
“Serious human rights violations have been committed in XUAR in the context of the Government’s application of counter-terrorism and counter-“extremism” strategies. The implementation of these strategies, and associated policies in XUAR has led to interlocking patterns of severe and undue restrictions on a wide range of human rights. These patterns of restrictions are characterized by a discriminatory component, as the underlying acts often directly or indirectly affect Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim communities,” the outgoing UN human rights chief said in the 48-page report released minutes before her four-year term ended on August 31.
“The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups, pursuant to law and policy… may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.”
In its final assessment, the OHCHR “recommends to the Government of China that it…takes prompt steps to release all individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in XUAR, whether in VETCs, prisons or other detention facilities.”
The Chinese government published its own detailed response to the hard-hitting report, saying that authorities in the Xinjiang region operate on the principle that everyone is equal before the law, “and the accusation that its policy is ‘based on discrimination’ is groundless.”
The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been facing US-spearheaded allegations of detaining more than one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in far-western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
Claims of “mass internment, forced assimilation, forced labor and forced sterilization” against the minorities have been branded by Washington as “genocide” and wielded as pressure point for the US and its allies.
21 June 2022, 10:57 GMT
Back in May, Michelle Bachelet visited Xinjiang, in China’s northwest, subsequently stating that she was unable to determine the scale of a ‘reeducation and incarceration program’ targeting ethnic Uyghurs, emphasizing that the visit was ‘not an investigation.’
The Joe Biden administration accused Beijing of genocide last year, placing sanctions on Chinese officials and on Xinjiang companies alleged to have used forced Uyghur labor.
In response, Beijing has repeatedly denied what it referred to as “the lie of the century”. It has stated that the facilities rights groups refer to are "vocational training centres" used to eradicate extremism and stamp out poverty. Beijing complies with international labour laws and domestic legislation, and there is no such thing as "forced labour" in the Muslim-dominated region of Xinjiang, according to China's legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC).