China faces heat at UNGA over the Xinjiang report

It has been nearly three weeks since United Nations released the much-delayed report on China’s human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region targeting Uyghur Muslims. Now, as the world leaders and diplomats descend for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York, China is facing the heat.

Reportedly, diplomats and human rights activists are dialing up the pressure on Beijing by calling it to take responsibility for its actions. Fernand de Varennes, the UN’s special rapporteur on minority rights stated that ‘inaction is no longer possible’ on the issue. 

“If we allow this to go unpunished, what kind of message is being propagated?” he added. 

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Prescott, deputy US ambassador to the UN questioned the credibility of the world body if the atrocities were not addressed. 

“How these atrocities are addressed goes ultimately to the credibility of that system, to the credibility of our international system itself. It’s deeply disheartening to see a country that has been so central to the creation of the modern UN system, and enjoys its status as a permanent member of the Security Council, so profoundly violating its commitments.” said Prescott.

Read more: West mulling to table resolution at UN against China’s abuses in Xinjiang

As reported extensively by WION, the report released earlier this month called China’s action in Xinjiang ‘crimes against humanity’. The report had been in the works for years and was released despite multiple Chinese efforts to delay or block it. 

After the report was released, China reacted aggressively by issuing a 122-page rebuttal, calling the report a ‘patchwork of false information’. Beijing also cited carefully choreographed visits by journalists, diplomats, and, most recently, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, as validating its claims.

Read more: Why is China so angry over UN report on Xinjiang?

Chinese President Xi Jinping on multiple occasions has made it clear that Islam can only exist in China if it is reformed according to Chinese orientation. The country has admitted that it runs concentration camps, which it dubs as ‘vocational training camps’. 

(With inputs from agencies)