For the first time, India on Friday clearly commented on the situation in China’s Xinjiang and said rights of people of the autonomous region should be “respected and guaranteed”.
The remarks by External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi came a day after India abstained from voting on a resolution at the UN High Commission that called for a debate on concerns over the human rights situation in Xinjiang.
When asked about the abstention, he said it was in line with the long-held practice of not voting on country-specific resolutions.
“The human rights of the people of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region should be respected and guaranteed. We hope that the relevant party will address the situation objectively and properly,” Bagchi said.
The comments came amid the continuing border row between India and China in eastern Ladakh.
“India remains committed to upholding all human rights. India’s vote is in line with its long held position that country specific resolutions are never helpful. India favours a dialogue to deal with such issues,” he said.
Bagchi said India has taken note of assessment of human rights concerns in Xinjiang by the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR)
“We have taken note of the OHCHR Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China,” he said.
The draft resolution was pushed by a group comprising Canada, Denmark, Finland, the UK, the US, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and was co-sponsored by some other countries.
China has been facing mounting criticism over its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province. Human rights groups believe China has arbitrarily detained close to a million Uyghurs in camps in the name of combating religious extremism.
Oppn slams government over India’s UNHRC move on China’s Xinjiang
Opposition leaders on Friday criticised the government for abstaining from voting on a draft resolution in the UN Human Rights Council on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China’s restive Xinjiang region, saying India should speak for what is right and should not be afraid of its neighbour.
Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Manish Tewari wondered why there was “so much diffidence on China”. “The Government of India will not agree to a Parliamentary debate on Chinese incursions. India will abstain at UNHRC on a resolution for debate on human rights in Xinjiang,” he tweeted. He alleged that the Ministry of External Affairs does not accord political clearance to Parliamentarians to visit Taiwan. Trinamool Congress spokesperson Saket Gokhale tweeted, “Giving them our land and abstaining on holding them to account. What exactly is it that makes (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi so afraid of China?”
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi wanted to know from the prime minister the reason for India’s decision “to help China out in the UNHRC on the Uighur issue”.
“Is he so scared of offending (Chinese President) Xi Jingping (Jinping), whom he met 18 times, that India can’t speak for what is right?,” he tweeted.
“From red eye to closed eye,” tweeted Priyanka Chaturvedi, Shiv Sena leader, in Hindi.
India on Thursday abstained from voting on a draft resolution in the UN Human Rights Council on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China’s restive Xinjiang region.
Human rights groups have been sounding the alarm over what is happening in the resource-rich north-western Chinese province for years, alleging that more than one million Uyghurs had been detained against their will in a large network of what Beijing calls “re-education camps”.