‘This is China’s victory’: UN envoy struggles to find truth in Xinjiang

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has staked her and the 193-member group’s reputation on investigating China’s crimes against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

The former president of Chile, long considered a contender for the United Nations’ first female leader, this week made a landmark visit to China’s northwest region, home to 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities mass detentionforced labor and re-education camps, and harsh technology-based surveillance and police persecution.

However, although she repressed personal experience And with a solid reputation among his United Nations counterparts, Bachelet has little hope of learning any valuable information about the Chinese security apparatus and the plight of the Uighurs. Nor does she want to convince Beijing to change course.

Instead, critics say, her tightly controlled mission has been undermined by China’s relentless obstruction, refutation of wrongdoing and propaganda.The visit also highlighted years of international failure to hold the presidency Xi JinpingWith China’s growing influence in the United Nations, the U.S. government has to take responsibility.

“All our like-minded countries have a similar view of this visit: it’s a victory for China,” said a senior European diplomat in Beijing. “The best thing she can do now is make public the access she has.”

Bachelet is no stranger to prisons. As a young woman in Chile in the 1970s, she was captured by agents and held in a secret detention center before her exile. Her father was tortured and died in prison.

Her trip marks the first time a UN human rights commissioner has entered China since 2005. Genocide Charges Sanctions and boycotts in the US, UK, Canada and other countries, as well as companies with ties to the region.

This photo released by the Commemoration Foundation for Victims of Communism captures riot control drills in Xinjiang detention centers © The Victims Of Communism Memoria/AFP/Getty Images

In a series of carefully planned events, Bachelet met with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, then spoke with Xi Jinping via video and traveled to XinjiangThe capital Urumqi and Kashgar, another big city.

“I’ve been working on this visit . . . because for me, engaging directly with the Chinese government on human rights issues domestically, regionally and globally is a top priority,” Bachelet told Xi.

Beijing denies the alleged atrocities are a “lie of the century” and accuses the United States of using Xinjiang as a political strategy to contain China’s rise. However, Chinese authorities have controlled access to the area for years, barring journalists, diplomats and NGOs from entering.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Bachelet’s trip would “help clarify misinformation from “anti-China forces” as he presented her with a book on Xi: An excerpt from Xi Jinping on respecting and protecting human rights. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and state media circulated photos of the exchange.

Richard Gowan, the United Nations director at the International Crisis Group, said China made the visit “a public relations mess at the United Nations” and argued that Bachelet’s chances of improving the plight of the Uighurs “may be possible.” 3%”.

But Gawain said the envoy’s visit should be viewed in the same way that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin last month.

“Not seeing the United Nations leave is more damaging to the residual hope that the United Nations can do some valuable work,” he said.

“In a sense, she was sacrificing herself because we knew from the beginning that there would be no real Chinese transparency. It was a trap. But it was a trap that Bachelet had to walk into.”

Bachelet is expected to brief the media on her itinerary in the coming days.

Experts say her reputation, and the ability of the United Nations to investigate human rights abuses, depend on her long-delayed reporting on Xinjiang. Complicating her role is a broader direction set by Guterres to engage China at the United Nations in tackling climate change.

“The real answer will be the kind of report that comes out,” said Anjali Dayar, a UN expert at Fordham University in New York.

Dayal added that while it was a feature that UN investigators “did not know the full picture,” Bachelet’s choice of sources and efforts to “counter” Beijing would reveal the extent of his office’s independence or absence.

“In her role, you inevitably appear to be taking the government seriously as well, even if you’re not going to buy their stories. . . the real measure of success will be whether she can publish a report that records more than what the government can do. content,” she said.

Diplomats, however, have complained that the United Nations has not taken a tougher stance against Mr. Xi on Xinjiang amid rising Chinese influence over the group.

“China has long been keen to persuade individuals and businesses to engage in quiet diplomacy, talking one-on-one about human rights, rather than [UN] The Human Rights Council or a series of meetings without media attention,” a senior Western diplomat said.

“There is very little evidence that this technology works, especially in China’s core interests. Xinjiang is China’s core interests.”

Additional reporting by Arjun Neil Alim in Beijing

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