PHIL-CHINA WATCH

By Herman Tiu Laurel

The 47-member UN Human Rights Council, which is elected yearly by majority of members of the UN General Assembly, voted against holding a debate on alleged abuses in China’s Xinjiang region. This is a major setback for the Western powers’ campaign to besmirch and destabilize China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It is the latest setback for the former hegemonic colonial and imperialist powers of the West in its 21st Century effort to turn back the clock of history to the era of their domination of Asia and the non-Western world. They lost the effort to separate Tibet in the mid-50s, they lost with finality in Hong Kong in 2021, and now they have lost in Xinjiang. Next, they will lose the last vestiges of their control of Taiwan.

The West lost by a vote of 19 to 17 with 11 abstentions, including Ukraine. The very telling vote count signifies a resounding rejection of Western allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang that the West has intensified in the past decade that climaxed with the UN high commissioner’s visit to Xinjiang last September and his report that confirmed no genocide had ever happened in Xinjian contrary to the very noisy claims of the West.

Due to the nature of the negative proposition presented to the UN Human Right Council, most of the 11 abstentions can be considered as polite support for China’s opposition to the debate but to avoid embarrassing the West and complicating their relations with Western countries. This is particularly true of Ukraine’s surprise abstention, a country that everyone knows is beholden today to the West, but China’s goodwill is just too good to be denied by Ukraine.

Also very revealing is the number of Muslim-majority nations that either voted in favor of China’s opposition or abstained to vote to table the debate on Xinjiang human rights conditions. These included Gambia, Indonesia, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, UAE, Uzbekistan. Earlier reports predicting China’s latest triumph on the issue of Xinjiang human rights and economic progress had already confirmed that the vast majority of world’s Muslim nations support China.

This latest success of China’s campaign to thwart the West’s slander of its Xinjiang record is a good development for Asia and the Philippines who have both been at the receiving end of the West’s slanders and malicious targeting. During the previous administration of President Duterte, the Philippines had been subjected to tremendous unjust pressure from such false accusations by the Western government and media.

The West has been using these false allegations to keep Asian governments off-balance, misinforming the world while preparing its war-baiting strategy similar to the Ukraine-EU situation that has put that whole region in a severe economic-political crisis. To prevent the West from succeeding in doing the same to Asia, the Philippines must be more pro-active in opposing Western misinformation, disinformation and destabilization.

This latest update on the Xinjiang vote and China’s latest political and diplomatic victory is good news for our region. China is Asia’s engine of economic recovery and growth, we -- ASEAN and the Philippines -- are relying on China both for our own economic recovery and post-pandemic prosperity. We hope our Department of Foreign Affairs shares our enthusiasm for China’s successes. Similarly, we hope that President BBM will express most vocal appreciation of China to further enable our public to understand the enormity of China’s importance to the world in the years to come.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in the foregoing article are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) or any other office under the Office of the Press Secretary.

About the Columnist

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Herman Tiu Laurel is a veteran journalist and founder of think tank PHILIPPINE-BRICS Strategic Studies.