Ambassadors from 50 countries voice support for China's position on issues related to Xinjiang

International Exchanges

Ambassadors from 50 countries to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) have co-signed a letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to voice their support for China's position on issues related to its Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

XinhuaUpdated: July 29, 2019

Ambassadors from 50 countries to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) have co-signed a letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to voice their support for China's position on issues related to its Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Delegates attend a plenary meeting of the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Switzerland, June 22, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Earlier on July 12, a number of ambassadors in Geneva sent the joint letter to show their support for China, and as of Friday evening, more ambassadors had joined, the Chinese Mission to the UNOG revealed.

In a statement issued on Friday night, the Chinese mission said that some other countries had also expressed their support in separate letters or press statements.

In the joint letter, the ambassadors commend China for its economic and social progress, effective counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, and strong guarantee of human rights.

They appreciate the opportunities provided by China for diplomatic envoys, officials of international organizations, and media professionals to visit Xinjiang, and point to the contrast between Xinjiang in the eyes of those who have visited it and the one portrayed by some western media.

The ambassadors also urge a certain group of countries to stop using uncorroborated information to make unfounded accusations against China.

"I was surprised that some people call these vocational training and education centers concentration or internment camps," Vadim Pisarevich, deputy permanent representative of Belarus to the UNOG, told Xinhua.

"They're nothing of the kind. They look like ordinary educational facilities and even I said that they are more than this because they provide life skills training to the students," Pisarevich said.

They are "very useful institutions for addressing the problems of terrorism, extremism and separatism," he said.

"Terrorism and extremism are an intractable challenge across the world. In the face of its grave threat, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region responded with a number of lawful steps, including setting up vocational education and training centers, to prevent and combat terrorism and extremism," the Chinese Mission to the UNOG said in its statement.

"Facts speak louder than words, and justice cannot be overshadowed. The great diversity of countries co-signing the letter -- from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, especially the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) -- makes it clear that the international community has drawn a fair conclusion about Xinjiang's human rights achievement and counter-terrorism and de-radicalization outcome," the statement said.

"Those that seek to use human rights as an excuse to slander and pressure China have only themselves to deceive," it added.

"We oppose any attempt to use human rights issues as a cover for interference in a country's internal affairs. We urge those who are doing so to change course, refrain from politicization and double standards, and stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of human rights," it said.

At a press conference on Friday, China's Ambassador to the UNOG Chen Xu also rebuked some Western nations for slandering China over Xinjiang, noting that China doesn't accept these "groundless accusations."

Jamshed Khamidov, head of Tajikistan's mission in Geneva, said his government opposes any attempts to use the Human Rights Council for particular political purposes, and efforts should be made to avoid any politicization of the Human Rights Council.

"We know the situation in the Xinjiang region. We know how much the government of China is doing ... and what kind of measures were implemented in this region to support its peace, security and development," he said.

In visits to the vocational training and education centers in Xinjiang's Urumqi and Kashi, Zenon Mukongo Ngay, head of the Democratic Republic of Congo's mission in Geneva, said he was impressed with the "level of development" in Xinjiang and how the people in the centers receive education for getting a job.

The Chinese mission also said that together with all parties, China is committed to promoting the healthy development of the international human rights cause by encouraging multilateral human rights institutions to stick to the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, handle human rights issues in an objective, impartial and non-selective manner, and engage in constructive dialogues and cooperation.