India skips UNHRC vote seeking debate on China’s rights abuses | India News

NEW DELHI: India abstained on Thursday from voting in the UNHRC on a proposal by western countries seeking a debate on human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang province. In what is being seen as a setback for the West, the move was defeated with 19 countries voting against it and 17 in favour.
The defeat is only the second time in the council’s 16-year history that a motion has been rejected and is seen by observers as a setback to accountability efforts, the West’s moral authority on human rights and the credibility of the UN itself.
India was among the 11 countries that abstained in the 47-member body. Despite the risk of the abstention being misconstrued as support for China, India’s vote is in line with its long-held position that country-specific resolutions, which seek public shaming of a country for alleged human rights violations, are never helpful. India has traditionally favoured a collaborative and constructive dialogue to deal with such issues.
The proposal was defeated despite the West having toned down the language to seek just a debate, and not a monitoring of the Xinjiang situation by a team of investigators, in the hope of garnering more support from member-states. Chinese ambassador Chen Xu accused the West of singling out China saying that while China was being targeted today, any other developing country could be targeted tomorrow.
Michele Taylor, the US ambassador, said the request for the debate was aimed simply to “provide neutral forum for discussion” that would give China a chance to put its views on record and hear the views of others, according to an AP report from Geneva.
“No country represented here today has a perfect human rights record,” she said. “No country, no matter how powerful, should be excluded from council discussions. This includes my country — the US — and it includes the People’s Republic of China.”

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