Chinese propaganda to the UN Human Rights Council and Michelle Bachelet's humiliating trip to Xinjiang

Michele Bachelet visited China in May and spent six days in Guangdong and Xinjiang . UNHRC chief refused to refer to the visit as a probe into state-sponsored human rights abuses against Uyghurs .

Beijing (China), June 24: China has managed to deceive the international community, particularly the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), by referring to UNHRC chief Michele Bachelet's dismal and embarrassing visit to China last month (May 23-28), despite a string of delays in the last four years.Bachelet had a rare opportunity to visit Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) to get a true picture Bachelet and a team from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spent six days in Guangdong and Xinjiang, a total shock to UNHRC, the international community, and human rights organizations around the world.Bachelet was almost giving Beijing a clean chit about its treatment of Muslim minorities living in Xinjiang.On the last day of her six-day official tour to China, she parroted the Chinese propaganda by referring to the Chinese government's terminology, including a network of facilities in which almost one million Uyghurs have been detained and allegedly subjected to human rights abuses.

The Xinjiang report was completed in September 2021, but there is no indication of it being officially released by the UNHRC, according to media outlets.Besides, Bachelets' term as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is ending in September this year, as she has decided not to run for the second term following her contentious visit to China.It is also speculated that the report could be made available after Bachelets' recent trip to China.There is however a degree of doubt about this, and it seems that the book will not be published until Bachelet leaves office in September.

Beijing organized the Bachelets tour at a time when certain parts of China were facing COVID-19 lockouts and government restrictions were being enforced throughout the region.Chinese officials restricted Bachelets' highly organized tour to two places in Xinjiang due to this.Since being in the area, she was not allowed to talk to any imprisoned Uyghurs or their families and was accompanied by government officials.On the other hand, Bachelets' visit coincided with the publication of the Xinjiang Police Files, a substantial cache of leaked official papers, speeches, and photographs, giving a first-hand look at the camps in Xinjiang.

Secondly, she was refused admission to the tour by no journalists.In the global context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a looming food and energy crisis, a distracted world in the midst of increasing geopolitical tensions, etc., the international reaction to Bachelets' horrifying public relations campaign in China was immediate and full.Government officials, human rights organisations, and Chinese diasporas in the West raised doubts about the visit and criticized Beijing for using the UNHRC chief to whitewash allegations of systematic human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other minorities, according to a joint statement released by the Netherlands ahead of the UNHRC's 50th session (Jun 13-Jul 8.The Netherlands and a small number of other countries expressed their deepest dissatisfaction with China's human rights situation, especially in Xinjiang, in that statement.

Lastly, the Bachelets visit is a good example of how China uses UN bodies to its advantage, as and when required to accomplish its objectives.The visit has provided the Chinese government with much-needed propaganda material to use if it is suspected of human rights abuses in the future.China promotes a nation-centric and anti-US human rights policy that has gained traction among countries outside the Global North.Beijing has practically taken over the Advisory Committee, the Human Rights Councils think tank, and has generally facilitated a gradual erosion of human rights standards.As a counter to the Western grouping against China, a Cuban counterpart held a joint address on behalf of 70 countries on November 25, protesting that human rights should not be used as political tools.