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Envoys taken on Tibet tour to help defend China at UN rights meet?

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep02’23) – China is escorting in Tibet Autonomous Region a group of ambassadors from different countries to the United Nations with the aim to convince them of its tale about the “true situation” there following a series of criticisms from UN rights experts and others. Citing diplomats, Reuters Sep 1 saw this as an apparent push by Beijing to counter mounting criticism of its human rights record ahead of a review by the global body in early 2024.

Understandably, the trip was mostly being attended by China’s close allies, photos posted on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, was stated to show.

UN rights experts have voiced repeated concerns over Tibet – annexed by military invasion by China in 1951 – this year, most recently in August when they raised the plight of jailed Tibetan rights defenders, the report noted.

China obviously expects the pro-Beijing ambassadors to seek to convince the UN rights body that what they were shown and told by their Chinese guides and officials represented the true picture of the situation in Tibet.

Last week, the United States imposed visa sanctions on unnamed Chinese officials for allegedly taking part in “forced assimilation” of Tibetan children through state-run boarding schools that seek to eliminate Tibet’s traditions, according to a statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

China hit back Aug 31 by vowing “reciprocal” measures.

UN member states are set to publicly examine China’s human rights record in early 2024 as part of a review process at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The report said a letter sent by China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva invited diplomats to Beijing and the “XiZang Autonomous Region”, using China’s term for Tibet Autonomous Region.

“I trust this trip will allow you to better understand China’s human rights policies and practices,” ambassador Chen Xu has said, mentioning meetings and field visits on education, culture, religion, employment and children’s rights.

A number of third world countries with problematic human rights records themselves have in the past supported China under strong pressure from the latter to reject Western criticisms of it at the Human Rights Council.

While the report was not clear who all were invited on the Tibet trip, two diplomats have said the invitation had been distributed widely. Photos posted on X by Cuba and China were stated to show envoys from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Belarus and Pakistan among the group.

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