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.
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.
China was appointed to a United Nations Human Rights Council panel where it plays a central role in choosing 17 different UN human rights investigators including the world monitors on freedom of speech, health, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention, each for 6-year terms.
It’s absurd and immoral for the UN to allow China’s oppressive government a key role in selecting officials who shape international human rights standards and report on violations worldwide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
UN human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet has finally released her report on China's record in the Uyghur region of Xinjiang: https://t.co/EcsWm7eFAW
Kowtowing to Beijing, Bachelet and her office delayed publishing this report until the very last minute of her 4-year term. https://t.co/ZDNgU5zT2Y
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) September 1, 2022
It’s absurd that the World Health Organization’s elite group of “Goodwill Ambassadors” includes James Chau — a Chinese government news presenter who has broadcast forced confessions, and who is now aggressively exploiting his WHO title to whitewash China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.