Meanwhile, the UN has a new human rights chief and a Chinese wolf warrior diplomat denounced by FOREF for his lack of civility as under-secretary-general.
By Massimo Introvigne
September 12, 2022
Birds of a feather: the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and China, Wang Yi. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
“Pakistan has taken note of the release of Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report on human rights in Xinjiang. As a responsible member of the United Nations with strong commitment to multilateralism, Pakistan believes in the principles of the UN Charter including respect for political independence, sovereignty and non- interference in internal affairs of states.”
When somebody mentions “non-interference,” you already understand that an effort is being made to defend the indefensible. Even the United Nations, where China exerts considerable influence, found that the Beijing regime is committing “crimes against humanity” in Xinjiang. Yet, Pakistan assures us that these are “internal affairs” of China, and the international community should just shut up.
“It is our consistent position that non-politicization, universality, objectivity, dialogue and constructive engagement should be the main tools to promote universal respect for human rights,” continues the note of the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The words used echo Chinese propaganda. “Politicization of human rights” is how the CCP characterizes any attempt to denounce its crimes, “Universality” means for Beijing that its policies cannot be judged according to the “Western” idea of human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of 1948, because it is supposedly not “universal” and not applicable to China, Russia, or the Islamic world.
“Pakistan, continues the document, supports China’s efforts for socio-economic development, harmony and peace and stability in Xinjiang. China has succeeded in lifting over 700 million people out of poverty in the last 35 years, thus improving their living conditions and the enjoyment of fundamental human rights. We appreciate China’s constructive engagement with the UN human rights system as well as the OIC General Secretariat, as evidenced by visits of the former High Commissioner for Human Rights and OIC delegation to China.”
Here, the cat is out of the bag. OIC is the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and Pakistan played a relevant part in inducing it to betray its fellow Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims of Xinjiang, siding with their Chinese executioners in the name of geopolitical and commercial interests. OIC’s visits to Xinjiang were not less farcical than Bachelet’s.
On March 22, 2022, the OIC convened in Pakistan. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was invited and delivered a speech. Screenshot.
Pakistan and China have enjoyed in recent years at the United Nations a relationship comparable to one between two powerful mafia families. They operate separately, but each of them protects the other when it is attacked by the police. At the United Nations, China tries to stop any censorship of Pakistan when it is accused of human rights violations for its genocidal treatments of Ahmadis, its daily harassment of religious minorities, its cruel laws punishing blasphemy with the death penalty. In turn, Pakistan is expected to reciprocate and side with China when it is criticized for what the U.N. has finally agreed to call its “crimes against humanity.”
At the United Nations, all problems have not been solved with the publication of the Xinjiang report. Nobody knows where the newly appointed successor of Bachelet, Austrian diplomat Völker Turk, will stand on the Uyghur genocide. He is as unknown as Bachelet was internationally famous. This does not necessarily indicate that he will be soft on China, but only time will tell.
Meanwhile, it is cause for concern that Li Junhua has just moved from Rome, where he was the Chinese ambassador to Italy, to assume on August 30 the powerful position of United Nations under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, to which he had been appointed by secretary-general Antonio Guterres on July 22. This is a scandal that has not been commented upon enough. Li Junhua is one of the worst examples of Chinese wolf warrior diplomacy and has come under fire in Italy for his repeated attempts at bullying and intimidating journalists who criticize China.
FOREF’s President Aaron Rhodes. From Facebook.
Just before Li assumed his new functions in Washington, the Chinese Embassy in Rome defamed and insulted the Italian magazine “Panorama,’ which had published a well-documented article about organ harvesting in China. On September 10, FOREF, the Forum for Religious Freedom Europe, wrote a letter signed by its president Aaron Rhodes to the Chinese Embassy in Rome criticizing the assault on “Panorama” and reminding them that “rational dialogue requires civility and respects for the dignity of interlocutors.”
But respect and civility is what wolf warrior diplomacy is definitely not all about. And wolf warrior diplomacy is now inside the United Nations with an under-secretary-general who will speak with the authority of his new position. We hope the new UN human rights chief Völker Turk will be able to balance this. Hope does not cost anything, and is always in order. However, it should not be confused with naïveté.