FIGHTING DICTATORSHIPS—A FOCUS ON

CHINA

Ruled by an oppressive regime, the world’s most populous state and second-largest economy sits on numerous United Nations bodies, including the Security Council and the Human Rights Council.

China exercises its power and influence within the UN system to distract and deflect from its appalling human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Tibet, while carrying out a genocide of the Uyghurs and crushing freedom of speech for its own citizens.

A summary

Subverting the United Nations

By getting elected to various UN bodies, China exercises power and influence. Through membership of the Human Rights Council, China protects itself and fellow dictatorships from being held accountable for their abuses.

China’s membership of bodies such as ECOSOC, UNESCO and the UN Women Executive Board allows its oppressive regime influence over global human rights, education, science, culture, gender equality and empowerment of women.

Hong Kong

Crushing Democracy and Persecuting Freedom's Defenders

China has imposed a national security law, which it has used to quell Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, stamping out street protests, banning activists from lobbying foreign governments, gutting the city’s legislature and arresting most of the opposition.

China’s assault on press freedom has witnessed raids on and closures of popular media outlets, including the Apple Daily and the arrest of its founder Jimmy Lai. Other defenders of freedom such as pop star Denise Ho have been targeted by the regime.

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We believe that Hong Kong people deserve democracy and freedom. And that’s why we come out to protest and to fight against all these authoritarian approaches to Hong Kong, the destruction of our free system — and also to fight for our future.

Nathan Law

Tibet

Forcibly Erasing Tibetan Identity

China has, for decades, attempted to erase Tibetan identity, forcing Tibetans to abandon their traditional Buddhist culture. Thousands of monasteries have been destroyed and thousands of Tibetans imprisoned, with many reports of torture.

the uyghur people

A Modern-Day Genocide

A modern-day genocide is taking place in the Xinjiang region of China, where one million Uyghurs have been arbitrarily detained in extralegal political reeducation camps.

Surveillance and repression in Xinjiang has increased dramatically. Biometric data is collected from residents, passports confiscated, religious activity restricted. China bans long beards, public prayers and Muslim veils.

China still denies these reports and continues to prevent human rights organizations, independent observers and the UN unfettered access to Xinjiang.

Free SPeech

Silencing Sportspeople

China exercises strict control over its media, which answers to the state. It restricts what its people can access on the internet and crushes any criticism of the ruling Chinese communist party and its officials.

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai disappeared from public after accusing former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into having sex in a since-deleted social media post.

While Peng subsequently reappeared in a video where she denied having been sexually assaulted, the Women’s Tennis Association cited “serious doubts that she is free, safe and not subject to censorship, coercion and intimidation.”

China doesn’t only stifle the free speech of its own citizens. Ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Chinese officials warned that visiting athletes who spoke against the Olympic spirit or Chinese laws would be “subject to certain punishment,” prompting U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to urge U.S. athletes not to risk angering the “ruthless” Chinese government.

At the GeneVa Summit

Giving a Voice to Chinese Dissidents

On the eve of the UN Human Rights Council’s main annual session, the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy assembles each year hundreds of courageous dissidents and human rights victims, activists, diplomats, journalists and student leaders to shine a spotlight on urgent human rights situations that require global attention.

The Geneva Summit brings human rights heroes, activists and former political prisoners from China to testify about their personal struggles for human rights, democracy and freedom, and join hands to plan action strategies.

Recent speakers have included:

  • Hong Kong student leader of the Umbrella Movement, former Member of Hong Kong Legislative Council who fled arrest Nathan Law.
  • Uyghur activist, sister of Ekpar Asat who was disappeared by China Rayhan Asat.
  • Chinese dissident, former political prisoner, Tiananmen Square massacre survivor and President of Initiatives for China Yang Jianli.

It's not mainland China that rubs me up the wrong way, it is the dictatorship that rubs me up the wrong way. It's the freedom that we Chinese people are not allowed that rubs me up the wrong way.

Jimmy Lai

In the Media

UN Watch’s truth-telling messages about China are regularly cited by media outlets worldwide:

“U.N. Watchdog Slams ‘Inclusive’ M&M’s Campaign While Parent Company Sponsors China Olympics,” Newsweek, Jan. 21, 2022

“As US returns to the UN Human Rights Council, it confronts an increasingly forceful China,” South China Morning Post, Oct. 10, 2021

UN Watch