Nikki Haley, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, criticized China on Thursday for its efforts to regain a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Haley tweeted, “China is trying to get back on the UN Human Rights Council despite the fact that it is one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. Proof that the US was right to leave the council, which does more to prop up oppressive regimes than advance the cause of freedom.”
China is trying to get back on the UN Human Rights Council despite the fact that it is one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. Proof that the US was right to leave the council, which does more to prop up oppressive regimes than advance the cause of freedom.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) September 17, 2020
Currently, 47 countries serve on the U.N.’s Human Rights Council. China has previously served on the council but is not a current member.
While China does not serve on the Human Rights Council itself, in April, the Human Rights Council’s Consultative Group panel approved Jiang Duan, the minister at the Chinese Mission in Geneva, to serve on the panel’s Asia-Pacific Group (APG). The position on the council, which lasts from April 2020 until March 2021, allows Duan to help the U.N. appoint investigators to review human rights issues like freedom of speech, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention. At the time, the U.N. Watch criticized the appointment, noting China has been criticized for enacting some of the same human rights abuses the council will investigate.
The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), also responding to the April Human Rights Council appointment, criticized China and claimed, “When U.N. experts are permitted to enter the country to investigate, many have documented harassment, intimidation, a refusal to be granted access to certain locations or individuals, and unacceptable government controls throughout the visit.”
China has been widely criticized for holding as many as 1.8 million Muslim minority Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in internment camps in China’s Xinjiang territory.
China also recently enacted new national security legislation over the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong, passing legislation that broadly defines acts of “sedition,” “subversion,” “succession” and “terrorism.” Hong Kong activists were warned by police that expressing pro-Hong Kong independence beliefs could constitute a violation of the new national security legislation. One of the first activists to be detained under the new legislation was arrested for carrying a Hong Kong independence flag.
The U.S. has enacted sanctions against Chinese officials and at least one linked to the Uyghur internment camps, as well as officials involved in enacting China’s legislative takeover of Hong Kong,
Since leaving her U.N. ambassador position, Haley herself has repeatedly criticized the U.N.
In June, Haley said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) another subsidiary organization of the U.N., was attempting to undermine U.S. sanctions on Iran by providing the country with a “multibillion-dollar loan.”
Speaking at the 2020 Republican National Convention in August, Haley said, “The U.N. is not for the faint of heart. It’s a place where dictators, murderers, and thieves denounce America and then put their hands out and demand that we pay their bills.”