CHINA / DIPLOMACY
China urges Canada to reflect on its own human rights abuses, stop hyping Xinjiang-related topics
Published: Jun 23, 2021 05:28 PM
Children's shoes are placed on the staircase outside Vancouver Art Gallery during a memorial event for the 215 children whose remains have been found buried at a former Kamloops residential school in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, May 29, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

Children's shoes are placed on the staircase outside Vancouver Art Gallery during a memorial event for the 215 children whose remains have been found buried at a former Kamloops residential school in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, May 29, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)



By taking the lead to aggressively hype anti-China topics recently, especially by releasing a joint statement on China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Canada will benefit nothing but only further damage ties with China while exposing its own hypocrisy and double standards on human rights, analysts said.

There was quite a battle on the second day of the 47th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday. On behalf of a group of countries, China expressed concerns about serious human rights violations against indigenous people in Canada and called for a thorough and impartial investigation into all cases where crimes were committed. Canada, on the other hand, released a joint statement hyping China's Xinjiang topics.

The finding of the remains of 215 indigenous children who were in a former residential school, the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, believed to have housed 500 indigenous Canadian children, has attracted international attention on Canada's crimes against indigenous people. 

"We are deeply concerned about serious human rights violations against the indigenous people in Canada. Historically, Canada robbed the indigenous people of their land, killed them, and eradicated their culture. The entire world was shocked to learn recent discovery of the remains of over 200 indigenous children at a Canadian boarding school," Minister Jiang Duan from China's mission to the UN in Geneva said on Tuesday, on behalf of a group of countries.

Canada's Stained Human Rights Record. Graphic: Jin Jianyu

Canada's Stained Human Rights Record. Graphic: Jin Jianyu



Between the 1830s and 1990s, over 150,000 indigenous children in Canada were reported to have been forcibly taken away from their parents and sent to boarding schools. They were subjected to malnutrition, and many fell victims to abuse and rape. At least 4,000 children died of diseases, neglect, accidents or abuse while at schools. 

"We call for a thorough and impartial investigation into all cases where crimes were committed against the indigenous people, especially children, so as to bring those responsible to justice, and offer full remedy to victims," said Jiang. 

Apart from these crimes from the past, Jiang also said, "We are deeply concerned about discrimination against migrants in Canada and inhumane treatment of them in Canadian detention centers. From 2006 to 2014 alone, tens of thousands of migrants were arbitrarily detained by Canada."

"We are also deeply concerned over the illegal killings of civilians by Canadian overseas military servicemen and systemic racial discrimination, xenophobia, and Islamophobia within Canada," Jiang said. 

"We urge Canada to immediately stop violations of human rights, and call on the Human Rights Council, the OHCHR and relevant Special Procedures, to keep following the human rights issues in Canada."

Despite facts and data provided in China's joint statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quibbled in his response.  

According to Reuters, the Canadian leader said a Canadian truth and reconciliation commission had worked from 2008 to 2015 to address the mistreatment of the indigenous population. Then he asked where China's truth and reconciliation commission was.

It seems that Trudeau has been cut to the quick by China's rare condemnation of Canada at the UN human Rights body, analysts said, noting that an investigation on crimes against the indigenous people, which seems to last forever, gives Canada no moral high ground to blatantly accuse others.

But speculation cannot replace evidence and lies cannot hide the truth, Zhu Ying, a professor on international laws from Southwest University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times 

China didn't take the same path of development as these Western countries, and it won't make the mistakes they have made, Zhu said.

He suggested that Trudeau should carefully read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in order to get a better idea of the nature of human rights. Zhu also said Trudeau should learn how to deal with his own problems before he starts pointing fingers at other countries.

"Mr Trudeau needs to calm down. It is better to finally release the investigation results and admit Canada's own mistakes and make sincere repentance," Zhu said. 

For a long time, Canada has self-claimed to be a "model student of human rights" and has been obsessed with lecturing and remarking on other countries' human rights conditions. Recently, China has been its main focus. For example, in March, Canada imposed sanction against Chinese officials and companies for "human rights violations" in China's Xinjiang.

Children's shoes, dolls, flowers with notes at the front of Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada, to commemorate the deaths of 215 Indigenous children whose remains were found in a former residential school in Kamloops city in the country, June 2, 2021. Photo:China News Service

Children's shoes, dolls, flowers with notes at the front of Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada, to commemorate the deaths of 215 Indigenous children whose remains were found in a former residential school in Kamloops city in the country, June 2, 2021. Photo:China News Service



Canada has acted aggressively in hyping anti-China topics recently as the US is ramping up efforts in rallying allies to ambush China, so the US needs Canada, a loyal henchman to the US, to take the lead to assist the US, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

Another reason is that by hyping Xinjiang-related topics, Canada wants to pressure China to release the two Canadian nationals Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in custody in China for suspected crimes undermining China's national security, Li noted.

"It's more like a revenge to China, which is irrational and sick. Also, by playing so hard on containing China, Canada hopes the US will reward its good performance in helping pressure China. But aside from damaging bilateral ties with China, Canada will get nothing from doing this. As for the US, it won't reward Canada, maybe it will just  pat on Canada's shoulder and say, 'cheer up,'" Li said.

In facing with the US-led anti-China campaign at the UN human rights body, Li said that it is right for China to take active moves to fight back - China should not be accused of crimes that it never committed. The US wants to destroy China's reputation and interfere with China's domestic affairs, but China will not make compromises. 


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