UN human rights chief criticised for her China trip, urged to commit to real investigation and hold China accountable 

The UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet during her China visit. Image: Twitter/UN Human Rights.

DHARAMSALA, 30 May: The UN human rights chief who just concluded her Chia trip had been criticised for being soft on the Chinese government rather than holding it accountable for the human rights violations it has committed under international law.

Bloomberg TV quoted Sophie Richardson, the China director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) as saying  that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s China visit “achieved exactly what the Chinese government wanted — a near-total lack of criticism of its human rights record.”  

“She needs to commit to a real investigation with the intention to hold those responsible accountable,” she said from Washington D.C, the Reuters reported.

“Otherwise, this will have been a propaganda exercise that the Chinese government will revel in.”

Adrian Zenz, senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an anti-communist think tank established by the US government and based in Washington, DC has called the UN human rights chief’s Chia visit a “disaster” and said that She should resign for failing to condemn China after visiting its remote Xinjiang region where the US accuses Beijing of genocide.

“There are now calls to either abandon the UN Human Rights Commission or to have her step down immediately. I think the Uyghurs are feeling profoundly betrayed,” the scholar has said.

However, Ms Bachelet, who became the first UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit China in 17 years when she landed in Chia on 23 Monday for her six-day visit 

has however dismissed the criticism surrounding her China visit. 

Defending her visit to China, she has stated that it was not “not an investigation” and that she raised concerns with officials about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in the country with “candour”.

Meanwhile, the US has expressed concern over the UN human rights chief’s visit to China owing to China’s “efforts to restrict and manipulate” it.

“The United States remains concerned about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her team’s visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and PRC efforts to restrict and manipulate her visit,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said in a statement.

“We are concerned the conditions Beijing authorities imposed on the visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment in the PRC, including in Xinjiang, where genocide and crimes against humanity are ongoing,” it added.

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