The US withdrawal from the UNHRC is perfect for Xi Jinping and ChinaComments Off on The US withdrawal from the UNHRC is perfect for Xi Jinping and China
By Frances Eve, Deputy Director of Research
Originally published in The Guardian on June 22, 2018
The US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council is a gift to China’s leader Xi Jinping.
Quitting the UNHRC won’t make it disappear. It opens a leadership vacancy that China is happy to fill. The Trump administration has stepped back to allow China the space to dominate the council unchallenged and advance its agenda to redefine human rights after the “China model.”
As Xi pushes his authoritarian agenda on the international stage while undertaking the worst crackdown on human rights since the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989 back home, now is the time to stand up, not stand down.
For the first time, China successfully sponsored a resolution in the UNHRC in June 2017, on prioritising development over other human rights. Human rights are universal, inalienable, indivisible, independent, equal and non-discriminatory. Your right to economic development is equal to your right to freedom of speech; China’s resolution deliberately undermined that principle.