China lashes out at western countries like the US and UK for ‘violations of the rights of refugees and migrants’ at the UN Human Rights Council

UN Human Rights Council 2021

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet (L) sits next to Human Rights Council president Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan (R) after delivering a speech during a session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

  • China has been crossing swords with the West for the last three days at the UN Human Rights Council.

  • China said that the US, UK, Australia, and Canada have records of human rights violations.

  • The day before, more than 40 countries expressed “serious concerns” about China’s policies in Xinjiang.

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On Wednesday, a representative of the Chinese mission to the UN said that China is “seriously concerned by the violations of the rights of refugees and migrants by countries such as the United States, the UK, Australia, and Canada,” reported The South China Morning Post.

“These countries kept migrants in prolonged detention in detention centers in poor conditions, lacking food, water, medical care and other basic services, resulting in large number of global deaths among migrants,” the representative said.

It’s the latest in a three-day exchange between China and the West at the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

According to the Post, China also highlighted the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border, saying it resulted in “human tragedy.”

The day before, Canada urged China to let UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet visit the Xinjiang province, reported The Guardian. Xinjiang has come under international scrutiny after reports surfaced that China was placing one million Uighurs in labor camps. China has denied the allegations.

More than 40 nations, including the US, UK, France, Japan, Italy, and Germany, supported Canada’s statement, pointing to reports of torture, inhumane treatment, forced sterilization, gender-based violence, and separation of children from their parents in China, per The Guardian.

On the second day of the session, China attacked Canada over its colonial history, calling for a “thorough and impartial investigation” into crimes committed against Indigenous people, ABC News reported. China made the statement on behalf of several countries that have been criticized for human rights abuse, including Russia, Belarus, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela.

In response, Canadian President Justin Trudeau said Canada has set up a truth and reconciliation commission to address its past grievances and make reparations, according to ABC.

“Where is China’s truth and reconciliation commission? Where is their truth? Where is the openness that Canada has always shown and the responsibility that Canada has taken for the terrible mistakes of the past?” Trudeau said.

The current session of the UN Human Rights Council is expected to end on July 13.

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