Tell us something we don’t know The Daily Chrenk, I can hear my readers saying right about now.
Sure, it’s nothing new, yet no matter how used I am now to the United Nations’s appalling behaviour, every new instance still manages to stir up my bile.
Earlier this week, the UK Ambassador to the UN, Karen Pierce, delivered this “Joint statement on human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang” to the Third Committee session on the Committee for the elimination of racial discrimination (an appropriate venue in the circumstances, if there ever was one):
I have the honour to read this statement on Xinjiang on behalf of a group 23 countries including:
Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United States of America and of course the United Kingdom.
We share the concerns raised by the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in their August 2018 Concluding Observations on China regarding credible reports of mass detention; efforts to restrict cultural and religious practices; mass surveillance disproportionately targeting ethnic Uighurs; and other human rights violations and abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
We call on the Chinese government to uphold its national laws and international obligations and commitments to respect human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, in Xinjiang and across China. The Chinese government should urgently implement CERD’s eight recommendations related to Xinjiang, including by refraining from the arbitrary detention of Uighurs and members of other Muslim communities. In view of these concerns, we call on all countries to respect the principle of non-refoulement.
Furthermore, we call on the Chinese government to allow the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Special Procedures immediate unfettered, meaningful access to Xinjiang.
Mr. Chair, I’ll close with a question: What measures should the Chinese government undertake to address the concerns raised in CERD’s Concluding Observations regarding restrictions on the right to freedom of religion or belief and the right to freely participate in cultural life?
I’m proud that Australia has put its name to the joint statement. It of course won’t achieve anything since China does what it does. But at least the 24 countries are on record regarding China’s treatment of its Muslim minority, of whom some one million (or ten per cent of the total) are being held in “re-education camps”, where many are subject to torture, mistreatment, forced abortions and sterilisation, and organ removal. If the United States, or Israel, or any Western country was imprisoning ten per cent of their Muslim citizens for the crime of being Muslims, the outrage around the world would be detectable from the outer space. But because it’s yellow people – and pretty rich and powerful yellow people at that – who are doing it, and not white people or the Jews, it’s crickets. Note that the only Muslim country to become a co-signatory is Albania, which is both European and reasonably secular.
Now the outrage:
China’s allies countered with a statement of their own that won even broader support, with some 54 nations backing a Belarus text that heaped effusive praise on Beijing’s “remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.”
They included Pakistan, Russia, Egypt, Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Serbia — which have all been criticised for their own rights records.
China’s “remarkable achievements in the field of human rights” of course don’t exist, China being a one-party communist-nationalist dictatorship, which denies its citizens all the basic human and civil rights and oppresses its ethnic minorities like the Uighurs and the Tibetans. But it’s not about reality, it’s about giving the middle finger to the West by a collection of autocratic and/or unsavoury regimes bought by China or sympathetic to the principle of non-intervention in sovereign affairs on the account of their mistreatment of own citizens.
The full list of the 54 has not been published – for some reason neither the Belarus foreign ministry nor its representative to the UN seems to be keen to promote internationally their act of teabagging China – but the fact that large and significant Muslim countries like Pakistan and Egypt will rather suck up to Beijing than defend their co-religionists is all you really need to know.*
All this is of course non-binding, but if there were to be a UN General Assembly vote on the issue, I have little doubt that China would be able to cobble a majority on its side, consisting of all the developing countries that owe it money or are hoping for more as well as all the usual anti-Western dictatorships, corruptocracies and busted-ass tinpots.
What this ultimately comes down to is this: I don’t ever want to hear a whimper from the United Nations/”the international community” about human rights abuses anywhere in the world, but most of all the grievous violations being constantly pointed out of liberal democracies (including Israel); I don’t want to hear pontifications and hand-wringing about the fate of the Palestinians or the Rohingya in Burma or the oppression of any ethnic or religious minorities anywhere else; I don’t want to hear about the Western xenophobia and racism, unjust immigration laws, treatment of migrants or the prospect of “climate change refugees”. If you think – as the developing world seems to think – that China’s mass incarceration of its Muslim minority somehow represents a “remarkable achievement in the field of human rights”, you can kindly roll up all your other concerns and grievances, stick them up your ass and bend over. China will ensure they stay deep inside you.
* an earlier pro-Beijing effort has been previously publicised by a Chine foreign ministry official:
37 countries, including Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Cuba, Algeria, UAE, Qatar, Nigeria, Angola, Togo, Tajikistan, the Philippines & Belarus, sent a joint letter to UN, supporting China's position on the Xinjiang issue. A big slap on the face of US &its western cohorts.
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) July 13, 2019
It’s a safe guess that these 37 in June were among the 54 in October, which means that in addition to Pakistan and Egypt, we also have Saudi Arabia, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Tajikistan pissing all over fellow Muslims in western China. So much for the global ummah.