GENEVA: China defended its human rights record to the UN yesterday, insisting it has undertaken sweeping reforms as Tibetan activists said more must be done to hold Beijing to account.
China’s special envoy Wu Hailong told the UN Human Rights Council that his country had lived up to a pledge made in 2009 when China was last under scrutiny by the watchdog.
“The Chinese government made a solemn commitment when China undergoes the next review, the world will see a China with a more prosperous economy, improved democracy and the rule of law, a more harmonious society and people living in greater happiness,” Wu said.
In 2009, the council had urged China to make more efforts in areas including poverty reduction, judicial reforms and ethnic minority rights. “Four years have passed, and I want to tell you that the above recommendations either have been implemented or are being carried out, and our commitment has been basically fulfilled,” Wu said.
All 193 UN member states are meant to undergo reviews of their rights record every four years.
In the run-up to yesterday’s review, human rights campaigners raised the alarm about the disappearance of Chinese activist Cao Shunli, who had been due to attend the session.
In a statement Monday, the European Union’s top diplomat Catherine Ashton had urged Beijing to clarify what had happened to Cao, and to do nothing to hamper the participation of campaigners at the Council.