Beijing mocks Bob Rae’s call to UN to investigate abuse of Uyghurs . . .
Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Rae, said yesterday that he has asked the UN’s Human Rights Council to investigate whether China’s abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang constitute a genocide. Ambassador Rae said that while there is no doubt some of the information currently available aligns with the definition of genocide, more evidence is required to support a formal allegation. Last month, Canada’s House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights became the world's first parliamentary committee to use the term ‘genocide’ to describe China’s actions in Xinjiang. The deputy director of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded by saying the committee’s report was “full of lies and disinformation.” Today, he called Rae’s comments “ignorant.”
Support in Asia for China’s policies in Xinjiang is declining . . .
On October 6, 39 countries at the UN, mostly Western nations, condemned China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang in a joint statement delivered by Germany. The same day, Cuba delivered a joint statement with 45 other countries voicing their support of China’s measures in Xinjiang. Despite fury at home, few Asian governments, Muslim-majority or otherwise, are willing to speak out against China’s crackdown on the Uyghurs due to their economic ties with Beijing. But this trend may be changing. At the UN, both Bangladesh and the Philippines stopped supporting China’s policy in 2020. And new signs point to Malaysia and Kazakhstan standing up for human rights, as both have offered refuge to Muslims fleeing Xinjiang.
Malaysia vows to stand up to Beijing . . .
In September, Malaysia said that it would not extradite Uyghurs at Beijing’s request. (In contrast, neighbouring Muslim-majority Indonesia deported three young Uyghur men to China in October in response to what some analysts believe to be direct pressure from China.) In Central Asia, Kazakhstan has granted refugee status to four ethnic Kazakhs who fled Xinjiang. A Kazakhstani official said the men had “no choice” but to remain in Kazakhstan. Time will tell whether this is the start of the changing tide of Asian governments standing up to Beijing over its treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang.