Reacting sternly to UN Human Right Chief Michelle Bachelet’s visit in China over fresh allegations of systemic abuse carried out by the Chinese government against the minority Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday asserted that there is “no need for preachers to boss around another country”. Speaking over a video call with Bachelet, the Chinese leader in an ungracious manner criticised the UN official’s trip to assess the human rights situation in Xinjiang province. Not just China, Xinjiang too defended Beijing’s actions, saying that there is no “flawless utopia”.
“When it comes to human rights issues, there is no such thing as flawless Utopia. Countries do not need patronizing lecturers… Still less should human rights issues be politicised and used as a tool to apply double standards,” the Chinese President said while speaking to Bachelet, as per an official statement.
Xi further took a swipe at the US stating that the visits under the name of human rights inspection could be “used as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.”
It is to mention that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Michelle Bachelet arrived in Beijing this week on Monday for a six-day trip. She is expected to visit the Xinjiang province, where the Chinese Communist government is reportedly carrying out forced labour, mass detention, assimilation, and sterilisation against the minority Uyghur Muslims. Beijing has repeatedly denied all allegations despite credible evidence that human rights organizations have gathered from the said region. Unhappy about Bachelet’s inspection-aimed visit, Jinping during the video call also told her that the human rights situation in the country “suits its own national conditions.”
OHCHR chief’s visit to China sparks security concerns
This is the first trip by the UN human rights chief since 2005. Bachelet said that the visit is deemed as a “priority to engage with the Government of China directly on human rights issues,” as per the OHCHR. “For development, peace and security to be sustainable — locally and across borders — human rights have to be at their core. China has a crucial role to play within multilateral institutions in confronting many of the challenges currently facing the world, including threats to international peace and security, instability in the global economic system, inequality, climate change and more,” she added..
‘Why is the US so precarious?’: China hits back
The UN High Commissioner’s visit has sparked concerns about her safety as she is expected to speak with the locals unsupervised. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, her trip to the cities of Kashgar and Urumqi in Xinjiang will be conducted in a “closed-loop” – i.e. her delegation will be isolated during her interaction with the people in Xinjiang, which Beijing said is a move to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition, no international journalists will be allowed to travel with her.
Noting the provisions of the visit, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that an “unmanipulated assessment” of the environment is suspicious given the conditions China has laid out. In response, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Webin in a mocking tone accused the US of “finding a new lie to hide the old ones.” He added, “the US was the most vocal in demanding a visit to Xinjiang by the high Commissioner but now it turns out to be the biggest critique of such a visit.”
The #US was the most vocal in demanding a visit to #Xinjiang by the High Commissioner, but now turns out to be the biggest critic of such a visit. Why is the US so precarious? The reason is very simple: they need new lies to hide the old ones. pic.twitter.com/0dkSiR86pJ — Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) May 25, 2022