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China is one of the leading and most powerful nations in the world with a massive population, a world leader in technology and a growing military arsenal. However, thus far the nation has failed to win superpower status due to its defiant actions, including several accusations of human rights crimes and genocide. Express.co.uk has compiled a list of the worst accusations levied against Beijing in recent times – which shows how the nation has directly breached the United Nations and its expectations.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was admitted into the United Nations in 1971 on the 21st time of voting on its application.
The nation was admitted into the UN on a vote of 76 in favour, 35 opposed and 17 abstentions.
In a letter to the UN at the time, the country said it had no obligation to honour the multilateral treaties which may have been ratified by the Republic of China under the governance of Chiang Kai-shek, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966.
However, the PRC in 1971 affirmed acceptance of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by virtue of simply becoming a UN member.
Since 1971, the UN has repeatedly encouraged China to move away from its insistence on the principle of non-interference.
Instead, the organisation has called on the nation to take part in critical resolutions of human rights conditions in other nations.
The UN has also called for Beijing to accept the applicability to itself of human rights norms and UN procedures.
However, many nations, leading human rights charities, and world leaders say China continues to suppress political dissidents at home. At times, it is resolutely defiant of outside pressures to reform, they claimed.
As regards to human rights issues, the PRC has been increasingly influential through its bargaining of its robust macroeconomics growth for domestic social equality.
The United Nations called on China to release a citizen journalist, Zhang Zhan, who was jailed for coverage of the nation’s Covid response.
Her family claimed she is close to death after a hunger strike, and is therefore in a seriously ill state.
The UN rights office voices alarm about the 38-year-old over the weekend.
UN spokeswoman Marta Hurtado said: “We call on the Chinese authorities to consider Zhang’s immediate and unconditional release, at the very least, on humanitarian grounds, and to make urgent life-saving medical care available, respecting both her will and her dignity.”
Ms Zhang, a former lawyer, travelled to Wuhan in February 2020 to report on the chaos at the pandemic’s origin, and she questioned the authorities’ handling of the outbreak.
She was detained in May 2020 and sentenced to four years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” in December last year.
Since that time, she has carried out several hunger protests against her conviction, sentencing and imprisonment – but now her family have warned she is seriously underweight and “may not live for much longer”.
Ms Hurtado said the UN rights office has repeatedly raised concerns over Ms Zhang’s case, but Chinese officials have yet to release her.
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China has been accused of committing human rights crimes – and possibly genocide – against the Uyghur population and other mostly-Muslim ethnic groups in the north-western region of Xinjiang.
Human rights groups believe the nation has detained more than one million Uyghurs in the past few years, in what has been described as “re-education camps” by the state.
Evidence suggests this ethnic minority group, the largest in Xinjiang, have been used as forced labour and women have been forcibly sterilised.
Some former camp detainees have also alleged they were tortured and sexually abused.
The UN and many other nations have accused China of committing genocide, with groups including Amnesty and Human Rights Watch publishing shocking reports of crimes against humanity.
China denied all allegations of human rights abuses in the region and instead claimed the “re-education” camps are in place to combat separatism and Islamist militancy in the region.
Shocking footage – reportedly shot by an activist – has prompted a new wave of accusations against the nation.
The almost 20-minute video shows the brutal reality of how the Xi Jinping led-government continues its atrocities on Uyghurs.
Mr Guan travelled to eight cities across Xinjiang and discovered 18 “re-education camps”, according to the Daily Mail.
These camps were unmarked on maps, but he was able to film the detention centres and prisons using a covert camera hidden in his backpack.
The footage shows barbed wire, guard towers, police checkpoints, army barracks and military vehicles, with messaging and slogans reading “Reforms Through Labour” seen in one of the centres.
Last month, 43 UN nations issued a statement criticising China’s widely reported abuses against the Uyghurs, and called on Beijing to immediately allow independent observers into the Xinjing region.
The statement read: “We have seen an increasing number of reports of widespread and systematic human rights violations, including reports documenting torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, forced sterilisation, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced separation of children.”
The recent statement is the third time in three years western nations have criticised China publicly for its policies against Uyghurs at UN Human Rights Committee meetings.
In response to the statement, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said “a small number of Western countries, based on disinformation, rumours and lies, keep attacking and maligning China on issues relating to Xinjiang and other matters and interfering in China’s domestic affairs with human rights as a disguise.”
South China Sea
China claims territorial sovereignty over the South China Sea – and its estimated 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
However, competing claims from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have been made.
According to the United States, claimant countries, under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), should have freedom of navigation through exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the sea, and are not required to notify claimants of military activities.
But China has maintained foreign militaries are not able to conduct intelligence-gathering activities in its EEZ.
Beijing has lately stepped up its military activity in the South China Sea, conducting a series of naval manoeuvres and exercises.
The Chinese leader Xi Jinping said his country will seek dominance over Southeast Asia or bully its smaller neighbouring nations, as frictions over the South China Sea intensify.
Speaking at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations conference on Monday, Mr Jinping said: “China resolutely opposes hegemonism and power politics, wishes to maintain friendly relations with its neighbours and jointly nurture lasting peace in the region and absolutely will not seek hegemony or even less, bully the small.”
His remarks came just days after Beijing coastguard ships blocked and sprayed a powerful steam of water at two Philippine boats carrying supplies to troops at a disputed South China Sea shoal, and forced them to turn back.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte condemned the incident, saying it “does not speak well of the relations between our nations and our partnership”.
Mr Duerte called on China to respect the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea – which establishes maritime entitlements and sovereign rights over maritime zones, along with a 2016 Hague arbitration ruling that mostly invalidated China’s South China Sea claims.
However, China has thus far refused to recognise the ruling.
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