Top photo: A visual representation of countries that signed letters to the UN Human Rights Council against and in defense of China’s ethnic policies in the Xinjiang region. Map made by Reddit user Hamena95 and edited by SupChina; for a full-resolution image, click here.
An extraordinary event in human rights diplomacy happened in the last week: Two unprecedented letters to the president of the UN Human Rights Council were signed by dozens of countries expressing either support for or condemnation of China’s well-documented treatment of Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
- The condemnation came first, from the ambassadors of 22 countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, and many Western European countries, but not the United States, which quit its position on the council a year ago.
- China responded with a letter of its own: Russia and Saudi Arabia were among the 37 states that expressed support for China’s ethnic policies in Xinjiang as a successful “counter-terrorism and deradicalization” program, Reuters reports.
- “There are basically three types of countries supporting China’s Xinjiang policy: anti-Westerners, opponents of human rights in general, and poor countries economically dependent on China,” Georgia College international relations professor Gennady Rudkevich wrote on Twitter, with a color-coded map.
There are basically three types of countries supporting China's Xinjiang policy: anti-Westerners, opponents of human rights in general, and poor countries economically dependent on China. The categories aren't mutually exclusive (I went with best fit). https://t.co/qRmOdfnTaW pic.twitter.com/OtilHLSfpB
— Gennady Rudkevich (@grudkev) July 14, 2019