UN Human Rights Council Defends Chinese Crackdown on Hong Kong

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Velox, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Velox

    Velox TZT Abuser

    Post Count:
    6,902
    It seems unwise to have left this UN body (and maybe the UN as a whole) to its own devices for so long, ending with Trump storming out of it a few years ago. It is a propaganda tool ripe for the taking by the Chinese and other authoritarian countries. The UN is held in high regard by most of the world, but at some point we may have to re-evaluate this. Western disunity (Trump) on the one hand, and colonial hand-wringing on the other hand, has left the field open for an authoritarian block lead by China/Russia to set the agenda. They are not impeded by moral dilemmas, they simple do not give a shit about human rights.

    Axios: The 53 countries supporting China's crackdown on Hong Kong

    [​IMG]Note: The U.S. has been highly critical of China over the law, but withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council in 2018; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios
    Dueling statements at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva shed light on geopolitical currents far beyond the walls of that institution.

    Driving the news: China's Foreign Ministry and state media declared victory after 53 countries backed Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong. Just 27 criticized the law, which imposes harsh penalties for vaguely defined political crimes and is widely viewed as the death knell for Hong Kong's autonomy.

    In the room: The two statements were read back to back in Tuesday's session, with Cuba supporting China and the U.K. representing the critics. China's other allies weren't named publicly until Axios obtained the list this morning.

    The big picture: This is one of the clearest indications to date of which countries are challenging a rising superpower, at least on human rights, and which are lining up behind it.

    Breaking it down
    China's critics
    are concentrated in Europe and also include major democracies like Australia, Canada and Japan. All 27 are considered "free" in Freedom House's global ratings.

    • China is backed by an assortment of "not free" and "partially free" countries, including many of the world's most brutal dictatorships — North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria.
    • Three small “free” countries did back Beijing: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Suriname (combined pop. ~700,000).
    • All three, and at least 40 of the other signatories, have signed onto China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.
    • Many of the African signatories, meanwhile, are trying to renegotiate debt payments to China amid sharp COVID-related downturns.
    • Our thought bubble: China's massive investments are bearing fruit, notes Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: "Beijing has effectively leveraged the UN Human Rights Council to endorse the very activities it was created to oppose."
    The full lists
    • Supporting: China, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, UAE, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
    • Opposing: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.
    • The U.S. has been highly critical of China over the law, but withdrew from the Human Rights Council in 2018.
    Behind the scenes
    Keith Harper,
    who served as America's representative to the council from 2014 to 2017, says America's absence is one major reason why the balance tipped so dramatically in China's favor.

    • Statements like this often play out as "battles between China and the United States," Harper says, with China putting "unbelievable pressure" on countries to back it.
    • While some countries on the list "are always going to back China," he says, others joined because "they will get better deals if they are in the good graces of China" and "there’s no detriment there because the U.S. isn’t at the table."
    • "Since we have pulled away from nearly all international organizations, China has stepped up big time," Harper says. "They really want to take over for the United States, and this is why.”
    Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, says China is attempting not only to silence critics of its record on human rights, but "to change the norms and the protocols of these institutions so that no state really can be held accountable."

    The big picture
    "One interesting question
    to ask is, ‘Who’s not on that list who has been on China’s team in the past, and why?'" says Richardson.

    • As a series of similar disputes have played out at various international forums, she says, China's support "has sort of plateaued," while more countries are willing to offer criticisms.
    • India didn't join the U.K. statement, for example, but did offer a more mild statement "expressing concern," in a signal of its growing willingness to confront China.
    There's a price to pay for challenging China, even for major players on the international stage.

    • After pushing for an independent probe into China's initial response to the coronavirus, Australia found itself in a costly trade dispute with its largest trading partner.
    • Two Canadian citizens are still being held in China, meanwhile, after Canada arrested Huawei's CFO on behalf of the U.S.
    What to watch
    The U.K. is the latest country
    to risk China's ire.

    • Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused China of a "serious breach" of the terms under which Britain turned over control of Hong Kong in 1997, and he said the U.K. would offer residency and a path to citizenship to eligible Hong Kongers.
    • The new scheme could apply to up to 3 million Hong Kong residents and their dependents (details here).
    • A spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry issued an angry retort today, saying the U.K. would "bear the consequences that will arise from this.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
    Vlaara and Utumno like this.
  2. Samassi Abou

    Samassi Abou TZT Abuser

    Post Count:
    6,076
    Sad to see my second home, Oman, backing that bullshit. The reality is that you always have to take the UN with a grain of salt. It’s just a forum for the world’s countries, which means that you get the good with the bad.

    China will be finished in the next decade anyway. It’ll become the Brazil of Asia. A huge country that once had massive growth rates, but which fell into permanent economic stagnation and chronic inequality.
     
    Vlaara likes this.
  3. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    33,670
    How are you connected to Oman, did you have work or are you Omani somewhere?
     
  4. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

    Post Count:
    45,733
    If it's any consolation the US is my first and only home and we're wrong about almost everything else
     
  5. Samassi Abou

    Samassi Abou TZT Abuser

    Post Count:
    6,076
    I used to go to Oman all the time. I’d probably live there if Australia didn’t exist.
     
  6. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    33,670
    Oman is a closed country though, you can't get in without a purpose/reason or am I thinking of Qatar
     
  7. Samassi Abou

    Samassi Abou TZT Abuser

    Post Count:
    6,076
  8. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

    Post Count:
    33,670
    It's one or the other, but this was decades ago so things could have been different, one family member setup oil company computer networks in what I thought was Oman but might be Qatar and you required pre authorization/sponsorship to enter. It was one of the smaller coastal ones, and Arabian subcontinent

    Have you ever been to Khasab/Kumzar or the other cities on that piece on the tip of the UAE, and if so are you able to see Qeshm* from there?
     
  9. Samassi Abou

    Samassi Abou TZT Abuser

    Post Count:
    6,076
    No, that's the one place I haven't gone that I want to go, besides maybe the southern area near Yemen, which sounds scary but is apparently quite safe.

    Oman was closed off until the 60s, yeah. The previous Sultan was quite close to the British, but he was fairly anti-Western and the country was quite backward. His son overthrew him in the 60s and ruled until he died recently.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qaboos_bin_Said

    The old Sultan was absolutely revered and he demanded an outward looking, friendly attitude to foreigners. I've never met people as friendly as the Omanis. Start talking to people for five minutes and they'll invite you to a beach party.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
    Utumno likes this.
  10. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

    Post Count:
    34,722
    oh man
     
  11. Jackpanel

    Jackpanel TZT Abuser

    Post Count:
    6,990
    Operson