Human rights violations have never been applauded. But when it comes to China, various governments seem to justify it. While China’s treatment of Uighur’s, a minority Muslim group from Xinjiang has drawn an international outry, ambassadors of 50 countries have endorsed China’s stance in a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
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The letter applauds China’s Communist Party for its economic, social progress, counter-terrorism efforts and de-radicalization measures as well as upholding and guaranteeing human rights. Ealier this month, according to various reports, envoys of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, in a joint letter to the UN, had “showered support” for China. Now, more countries, including African, Asian and Latin American nation are standing with China. These countries defend China saying that China faced terrorism, separatism and religious extremism in the restive Xinjiang region and noted the de-radicalization measures contributed to peace and security.
However, 22 countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., Austria, Ireland and Spain have condemned China. These countries, in a joint statement said they are concerned about the credible reports of arbitrary detention in large-scale places of detention, as well as widespread surveillance and restrictions. “We call on China to uphold its national laws and international obligations and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, “including freedom of religion or belief”, in Xinjiang and across China.” The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) said 800,000 to 2 million Uighurs and other Muslims, including ethnic Kazakhs and Uzbek’s have been detained since 2017. And outside the camps, 11 million Uighur’s living in Xinjiang have continued to suffer from decades-long crackdown by the Chinese authorities.
Human rights activists have held protests and called on the Chinese government to end the mass detention and oppression of Uighur Muslims and other minorities in the Xinjiang region. Reports have brought to the fore that up to one million Uighur Muslims are being “held illegally” in re-education schools and forced into camps to undergo political indoctrination. Moreover, Chinese authorities have installed thousands of high-tech police stations throughout Xinjiang and tapped big data to enforce order and monitor citizens. The Wall Street Journal said the police use hand-held devices to scan photos, messages and other data in residents mobile phones, searching for “sensitive material”.
Experts say that China’s crackdown on Uighur’s is connected with Beijing’s focus on breakneck economic growth and new social forces. It drove China’s leaders to become obsessed with stability and demand that officials assert greater control while promoting development.