OPINION / VIEWPOINT
Ukraine’s withdrawal from Xinjiang statement exposes West’s facade
Published: Jun 27, 2021 11:28 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The permanent mission of Ukraine to the United Nations Office in Geneva on Friday posted on its website that the country had withdrawn its signature from a joint statement on the human rights situation in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Ukraine's withdrawal from the joint statement exposes the weak power of this joint statement. Ukraine expects Western assistance in terms of security and economic development to counter pressure from Russia and to help address its core concerns over the Crimea issue. Now it turns out that the West is only paying lip service. It hasn't provided so-called security guarantees to Ukraine. And Ukraine wants to let the West know its dissatisfaction. 

Ukraine's change of attitude shows that the so-called alliance did not really care about the Xinjiang human rights issue when those countries signed the Canada-led joint statement. The joint statement was just a temporary clique of interests cobbled together by a few countries.

Most of the 44 countries that supported the joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council over China's Xinjiang were not Islamic. For these countries, they just need an excuse to intervene in China's affairs. It doesn't matter whether their accusations are true or not.

The 40-odd countries are also divided into several segments. Some are US' core allies, such as Japan, Canada, Germany and Australia, some are the traditional Western countries in a broader sense. The rest just came along for the ride. There is no need to over-interpret this statement because it is inherently un-authoritative. These countries could not represent the international community, nor will they garner widespread support for their unreasonable claims. 

China does not need to care about the "claims" of these countries, especially when the leading country is basically a dehumanizing and brutal country in itself. Breen Ouellette, who is Métis and once served as counsel for the Canada National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, said on Twitter on May 21 that he learned of incidents within the past decade in which Indigenous children as young as 9 years old in foster care were forced to get intrauterine devices instead of access to safer care. 

Worse, an indigenous group in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan on Thursday said it had found the unmarked graves of an estimated 751 people at a now-defunct Catholic residential school. 

Canada is a country that actually practiced "genocide" and has not done anything substantial to address it. Anyone with a normal cognitive framework and a conscience in Canada should be ashamed of this. Canada should at least clean up its own mess before blaming others. Yet they choose to point fingers at China without any psychological burden. To quote a recent popular Chinese TV drama Awakening Age, which narrates the story of how the Communist Party of China was founded in 1921, "The West is hypocritical and vain." 

More than 40 countries issued the joint statement calling on China to allow independent observers to enter China's Xinjiang region. However, more than 90 countries expressed their support and understanding to China's stance with 65 of them clearly opposed to interfering with China's domestic affairs. The number of those supporting China is far bigger than that of those following the US and Canada's lead. This indicates that countries led by Canada don't represent the mainstream of international public opinion. 

The joint statement only reveals the fact that the human rights criterion is manipulated and monopolized by a minority of countries. Human rights, in fact, have no criterion when this small number of countries wants to meddle in other countries' issues.

The author is a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn
blog comments powered by Disqus