Although the widely-reported Belarus statement praising China’s treatment of the Uighurs of Xinjiang, delivered on Tuesday before the UN General Assembly’s committee on human rights, claims to have the endorsement of 54 countries, only six were actually named.

Out of all the news agencies reporting the story — AFP, CNN, Deutsche Welle, Reuters, The Independent, and APnone seems to have seen or heard about any of the other alleged country signatories.

Belarus’ UN mission, contacted by UN Watch, had no information to offer. They suggested we check with China.

So was Beijing bluffing in order to blunt the effect of the 23-nation criticism delivered by the UK, in the hope that it would collect the other 48 signatures later on?

To be sure, no one doubts that they could get the numbers: China submitted 50 country signatures over the summer for a similar statement submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.

But if China had the 54 signatures on hand this week, there is no good reason why these would not have been proudly named, as the UK did in the opening of its joint statement.

 

 

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