Xinjiang in spotlight at UN
On Monday, August 13, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Geneva time (4 a.m. – 7 a.m. EST), the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will meet to “consider periodic reports” received from several countries, including China. This is the second and final day of China’s hearing.
On Friday, August 10, Gay McDougall, vice-chair of CERD, condemned China’s massive social engineering program in Xinjiang that has seen perhaps more than a million Uyghurs disappeared into “re-education camps” as part of an apparent plan to destroy Uyghur culture. Dozens of civil society organizations submitted reports to the committee about China. Some of these were from Chinese government-controlled organizations that echoed the Communist Party line, but most of the reports were critical.
The Beijing delegation (comprising 48 people, including Yu Jianhua 俞建华, the P.R.C.’s UN ambassador in Geneva) is expected to answer these charges during Monday’s session. This is how you can follow the proceedings:
Details of the schedule and participants are on the UN website. If you’re an Access member, you can find direct download links to the relevant documents in Friday’s newsletter.Follow the Twitter hashtags #ChinaCERDand #CERD, or Sarah Brooks of the International Service for Human Rights.Watch the UN live stream — I don’t have the exact URL for the CERD hearing, but you may be able to find it by searching the webtv.un.org website.The latest reporting on Xinjiang by the Globe and Mail’s Nathan VanderKlippe, who has been one of the journalists recently focusing on Xinjiang, is here: Exporting persecution: Uyghur diaspora haunted by anxiety, guilt as family held in Chinese camps. The Washington Post’s Emily Rauhala is also covering the story closely; see New evidence emerges of China forcing Muslims into “reeducation” camps.
What will the Beijing delegation say in answer to the various charges of massive human rights abuses? I suspect the substance of their argument will be almost exactly the same as this article from the English website of the People’s Daily-owned nationalist rag Global Times: Protecting peace, stability is top of human rights agenda for Xinjiang.
If you don’t want to read the whole thing, this is how the Global Times tweeted out the article: