Beijing is trying to block a United Nations report on China’s brutal crackdown against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
Since UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s long-delayed and controversial trip to the Chinese autonomous region in May, human rights groups have called for her findings to be released immediately.
At the same time, the ruling Communist Party of China has been accused of trying to “bury” the report in a behind-the-scenes campaign to cover up the truth.
Media sources earlier this week have alleged that President Xi Jinping’s government had expressed “grave concern” about the Xinjiang document in a letter to Bachelet’s office.
“The assessment [on Xinjiang], if published, will intensify politicization and bloc confrontation in the area of human rights, undermine the credibility of the OHCHR [Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights], and harm the cooperation between OHCHR and member states,” a letter seen by Reuters and confirmed by three foreign diplomats said.
“We strongly urge Madame High Commissioner [Bachelet] not to publish such an assessment,” the letter pointed out, according to the news agency.
In response, Liu Yuyin, a spokesperson for China’s diplomatic mission in Geneva, “did not say whether the letter had been sent” or answer “questions about its contents,” Reuters reported.
Human rights crisis:
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has described China’s repression in Xinjiang as “genocide.”
- Up to 1.4 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities have been held in internment camps, according to human rights groups.
- Media reports containing allegations of “rape, sexual abuse and torture” have horrified the international community.
- President Xi Jinping’s government has strenuously denied the allegations, calling them “lies.”
Delve deeper: Xi’s administration has rolled out a massive “disinformation” campaign to hide the brutal repression of ethnic minorities. A study released on July 20 by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, or ASPI, highlighted the sheer scale of the operation.
Between the lines: “Instead of improving its treatment of Uighurs and other Turkic minorities, the CCP is responding to critiques of its human rights record by coordinating its state propaganda apparatus [and] security agencies to influence and even silence governments, businesses and civil society at home and abroad,” the report revealed.
What was said: “Assessing the impact of CCP information operations related to Xinjiang, we collected and analyzed a vast amount of multi-language data,” the ASPI study showed.
Data dump: “[It included] Chinese government documents and speeches, government statements made to the UN Human Rights Council, corporate responses to Chinese state-affiliated consumer backlashes, 613,301 Facebook posts, 6,780,809 tweets and retweets, and 494,710 media articles,” the ASPI said.
China Factor comment: Inside Xi’s inner circle, there is a complete disregard for human rights and freedom of expression. Barbed wire and prison cells are the Party’s only answer when dealing with ethnic minorities.