New York: As the United States and 22 other countries at the United Nations called out China for the persecution of Uighurs Muslims, Beijing on Tuesday said Washington raising the issue is not “helpful” to resolve the matter pertaining to the trade.
The Uighurs are a majority in the Xinjiang province, situated in the western part of China and is officially designated as an autonomous region.
Many international human rights organisations have accused China of cracking down on the Uighurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending the minority community to undergo some form of forceful re-education or indoctrination.
In August, a United Nations human rights panel had expressed grave concerns that there were credible reports that China is holding a million Uighur Muslims in mass detention camps in Xinjiang province.
Britain UN Ambassador Karen Pierce delivered a joint statement at the UN General Assembly last month on behalf of 23 states including the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
“We call on the Chinese government to uphold its national laws and international obligations and commitments to respect human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, in Xinjiang and across China,” Pierce said.
The countries asked China to immediately implement recommendations by the independent UN experts on the situation in Xinjiang including “by refraining from the arbitrary detention of Uighurs and members of other Muslim communities.”
This joint condemnation by the countries have prompted China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun “It’s hard to imagine that on the one hand, you are trying to seek to have a trade deal, on the other hand you are making use of any issues, especially human rights issues, to blame the others,”While there had been “progress” in trade talks, Zhang noted the US criticism of China’s actions in Xinjiang.
“I do not think it’s helpful for having a good solution to the issue of trade talks,” he said.
China was not been completely left out, fifty-four countries including Pakistan, Russia, Egypt, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Serbia had praised Beijing’s respect and protection of rights while dealing with counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation in Xinjiang.
“Now safety and security have returned to Xinjiang and fundamental human rights of people of all ethnic groups there are safeguarded,” Belarus UN Ambassador Valentin Rybakov addressed the General Assembly rights committee on behalf of these countries. “We commend China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.”