Imagine for a moment a world where a country that starts a global pandemic, spies on its own citizens, and suppresses religious liberty gets awarded a leading position on an international body regarding human rights. Well, imagine no more, because that’s exactly what happened last week when China received a preeminent position on a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) panel, where it will lead the way in choosing the international body’s human rights investigators. According to UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights organization, this includes global monitoring of “freedom of speech, health, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention.”
Jiang Duan, a minister at the Chinese Mission in Geneva, was appointed to the influential UNHRC’s Consultative Group, where he will serve as the representative for the Asia-Pacific region. Being on the five-nation panel allows China to “influence the selection of at least 17 UN human rights mandate-holders over the next year, known as special procedures, who investigate, monitor, and publicly report either on specific country situations or on thematic issues in all parts of the world, such as freedom of speech and religion.
The move by the world body drew immediate backlash from prominent U.S. political figures. Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley weighed in on Twitter, stating, “China was appointed on Wed to a UN Human Rights Council panel where it will play a key role in picking the world body’s human rights investigators — including global monitors on freedom of speech, health, enforced disappearances, & arbitrary detention. You can’t make this up!”
This is hardly the first time the Human Rights Council has come under fire for insincerity on human rights. Earlier this year, the nations of Venezuela, Mauritania, and Sudan were all awarded seats on the controversial body, despite continuous acts of brutality and oppression against their people. Other past provocative appointments to the council include countries such as Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and, yes, China. Such stunning hypocrisy, along with the constant bashing of Israel, prompted the United States to leave the council in 2018.
The United Nations placing China in charge of selecting officials to oversee human rights violations is the equivalent of giving Hillary Clinton your email password. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) running the country is notorious for its consistent suppression of basic human rights. In 2018, the U.S. State Department released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, providing insight into human rights violations across the globe. While the report analyzes abuses from every country in the world, China and seven other nations were highlighted for engaging in some of the worst atrocities on the planet.
China has routinely violated basic privacy rights by spying on its own people for years. The government has implemented a social credit system, rating citizens based on their daily behaviors and actions. The system tracks and monitors everything from financial transactions to behavioral patterns. By using facial recognition and video surveillance technology, the CCP has also been steadily collecting data on its more than 1.3 billion citizens, hoping to develop a facial recognition system to identify any citizen within seconds.
The Chinese government is among the worst in the world concerning persecution of religious worshipers. The most notable case is demonstrated in the Xinjiang region, where Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are being imprisoned in internment camps. Detainees are fed CCP propaganda and forced to adhere to whatever behavioral patterns the government deems appropriate.
Even as the Wuhan coronavirus continues to rattle the world, the Chinese government sees the outbreak as a prime opportunity to further suppress religion in the country by destroying places of worship. Christian church buildings, as well as Buddhist and Taoist temples, have reportedly been torn down or placed under heavy surveillance.
Rather than punishing China for its grotesque and barbaric actions, the United Nations instead rewarded the tyrannical regime with even more power and influence in momentous decision-making that will affect the world. The organization continues to prove itself time and again to be a feckless, failed body filled with globalist bureaucrats who are willing to turn a blind eye to the clear-as-day human rights violations staring them in the face.
If the United States is going to remain in the U.N., it must demand serious reform. No longer can America provide funding to other countries and then sit idly by while they ignore basic human rights. It’s time to stop subsidizing countries that invariably prop up dictatorships such as China, and instead begin demanding accountability.
Kicking the can down the road will enable China and other human rights violators to raise their status and escape liability for their outrageous treatment of their people. It’s time to act, and that means holding China — and the United Nations — accountable.