(TibetanReview.net, Feb25’21) – Several countries have on Feb 24 criticized the deteriorating human rights situation in the People’s Republic of China, including Tibet, at a high-level segment of the 46th UN Human Rights Council virtual session. However, defiant China has accused them of abusing the UN rights forum to “meddle in China’s internal affairs”.
British Foreign Secretary Mr Dominic Raab has urged members of the Council to act on the situation in the PRC, saying “no one can ignore the evidence anymore”.
He has highlighted the violations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. On Tibet he has said the situation continued to be “deeply concerning”, with access to the territory continuing to remain “heavily restricted”.
Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, has reiterated the 27-member European Union’s call on China to uphold its obligation under national and international law, and respect rights of people in Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Hong Kong. He has called for unfettered access to Xinjiang to independent observers, including to High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet of the UN Human Rights Council.
The high-level segment is the UN Human Rights Council’s dedicated session for the heads/senior representatives of the member-countries to present national human rights priorities and discuss human rights challenges.
Ambassador Chen Xu, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office at Geneva, has demanded that Western countries to stop what he called abusing the UN Human Rights Council and using Xinjiang to meddle in China’s internal affairs. He has accused the UK, European Union, Germany, US, Canada “and a few others” of abusing the platform to make what he called groundless accusations against China and interfere in China’s internal affairs.
“Their attempts to smear China, undermine China’s stability and contain China’s development are doomed to fail,” China’s official globaltimes.cn Feb 25 quoted Chen as saying, expressing resolve to reject the criticisms.
On Feb 22, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi called his country’s treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet a “shining example” of its human rights progress, speaking at a forum on US-China relations in Beijing. The same day he addressed the Council via videolink.