China’s Orchestrated Tibet Tour for UN Ambassadors Amidst Human Rights Scrutiny

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 4 Sept: A group of UN ambassadors are on tour in Tibet under China’s arrangement, an apparent push by Beijing to counter mounting criticism of its human rights record ahead of a review by the body in early 2024, Reuters reported.

As per the letter seen by Reuters, China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva sent the invitation to diplomats to Beijing and “XiZang Autonomous Region”, stamping China’s recent move to replace the use of “Tibet” with “XiZang,” a Chinese term for the occupied nation of Tibet. 

“I trust this trip will allow you to better understand China’s human rights policies and practices,” China’s UN ambassador Chen Xu said, mentioning meetings and field visits on education, culture, religion, employment and children’s rights, according to the report. 

Photos shared on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) reveal that the majority of attendees are close allies of China. In such orchestrated tours and publicity the CCP is adept, the touring UN ambassadors can be expected to have neither access nor a keen interest in unearthing China’s repressive policies in Tibet. 

The report says that photos posted on X show envoys from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Belarus and Pakistan are among the group on tour in Tibet.

In the latest concerns over China’s intensifying persecution of Tibetans, UN experts in August called on China to refrain “from persecuting environmental human rights defenders and release all nine (Tibetans) immediately.”

US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken expressed concerns over the extent of mass collection of DNA from Tibetans by China “as an additional form of control and surveillance over the Tibetan population” in Tibet. 

Less than two weeks ago, Blinken announced that the US would impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials involved in CCP’s “forced assimilation” policy, where over a million Tibetan children have been put into government-run boarding schools. 

In the face of mounting evidence and criticisms of its persecutive rule of Tibetans and with the UN rights review process coming in early 2024 at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, China aims to deflect international criticism by orchestrating an all-prosperous and all-smiling publicity tour to the ambassadors to present a positive image instead.

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