(TibetanReview.net, May30’22) – Amid criticisms from the West and human rights organizations, China has strongly defended UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s visit to the country from May 23 to 28 with the aim not to investigate but to hold direct talks with Chinese leaders on human rights concerns.
She has been accused of agreeing to make the visit without assurance of free access to people and places and for allowing herself to be used by China on its false narrative about the actual situation in China and other territories under Chinese rule.
Indeed, China’s official chinadaily.com.cn May 30 cited the country’s Vice-Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu as saying that the visit had “enhanced understanding of China’s path on human rights development and provided an opportunity to see the real Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which has been smeared with lies fabricated under the guise of protecting human rights.”
The report highlighted Bachelet’s claim that “China’s efforts in eradicating extreme poverty, introducing universal healthcare and carrying out legislative and judicial reforms are valued as they have ensured the protection of the right to health and broader social and economic rights.” This is the all-important Chinese definition of human rights which is devoid of any recognition of civil and political rights of the citizenry.
The report also quoted her as saying, “During my visit, the government assured me that the vocational education and training center system has been dismantled. I encouraged the government to undertake a review of all counterterrorism and deradicalization policies to ensure they fully comply with international human rights standards, and in particular that they are not applied in an arbitrary and discriminatory way.”
Ma has cited this as a refutation of the fact that “for a time, certain Western countries and anti-China elements, under the disguise of human rights, had fabricated many sensational, palpable lies on so-called Xinjiang-related issues, only to fulfill their political motive of using Xinjiang to contain China.”
The report also quoted Bachelet as saying, “Violent acts of extremism have a terrible, serious impact on the lives of victims, including those tasked to protect the community,” referring to China’s claim that its allegedly crime-against-humanity and genocidal actions in Xinjiang were all about combating terrorism and extremism there.