Wang Yi speech at the UNHCR . . .
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave a speech yesterday at the 46th session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (UNHRC), where he commented on the promotion of human rights globally and criticized accusations of human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang province. He denied any wrongdoing by the Chinese government, instead justifying its actions as the need to suppress terrorist activities in the region and to provide security to the Chinese people. He also warned that human rights should not be used as a tool by a “small number of countries” to meddle in the internal affairs of others.
China’s definition of human rights . . .
In his speech, the first by a Chinese official at the UNHRC, Wang explained that China’s traditional approach to human rights emphasizes collective rights over individual rights. While he recognized the universality of human rights, in the sense that they are values shared by all countries and belong to all people, he added that each country possesses its own national realities, which impact how they select and advance human rights within their own territory. Most observers agree China’s definition of human rights challenges the ‘Western’ vision of human rights, which stresses their inalienable and undeniable character.
Canada labels China’s treatment of Uyghurs as genocide . . .
For months, pressure has been mounting on China over its treatment of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang, with reports detailing myriad abuses. Yesterday, Canada’s parliament declared that China is committing genocide in Xinjiang. The vote was overwhelming: 266 for the motion, zero against, with 72 abstentions. While the motion introduced by the Conservative Party is non-binding, the declaration places the Liberal government in a difficult position. Such a statement should be followed by concrete actions, although the government likely feels the declaration restricts its capacity to manoeuvre with China, particularly in the case of the detention of the ‘Two Michaels.’ APF Canada’s 2020 National Opinion Poll showed that while Canadians recognize China's human rights situation has worsened, they also believe that the government needs to keep engaging with Asian countries on human rights.
- Al Jazeera: China rejects Uighurs genocide charge, invites UN’s rights chief
- The Globe and Mail: Parliament declares China is conducting genocide against its Muslim minorities
- The Diplomat: Can China change the definition of Human Rights?