69 countries oppose interference in China's internal affairs at UN human rights session



A group of 69 countries at the ongoing 50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday opposed exploiting human rights issues to interfere in China's internal affairs.

On behalf of these countries, Cuba told the council that the affairs of Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet are China's internal affairs. They reject the politicization of human rights issues, double standards, and meddling in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.

Delivering a joint statement signed by the group of cross-regional countries, Lisandra Astiasaran Arias, counsellor of the permanent mission of Cuba to the UN Office at Geneva, said respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states are the basic norms governing international relations.

All parties should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and uphold the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity, said Astiasaran Arias.

She added all parties should also respect the right of people of different countries to choose their own path of development in light of their own national conditions and attach equal importance to all kinds of human rights, especially the economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development.

In the face of multiple challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the international community should adhere to multilateralism and strengthen solidarity and collaboration to jointly address the global challenges, promote world peace and development, and advance and protect human rights, according to the Cuban envoy.

The joint statement read by Cuba was a response to a statement by the Netherlands, the United States and others in which they voiced their "grave concerns" about the human rights situation in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

China's permanent representative to the UN Office in Geneva Chen Xu said that the Human Rights Council has become "increasingly politicized and confrontational," and "disinformation has become rampant." He called for more cooperation and dialogue.

In their separate addresses to the council, more than 20 countries also clarified their understanding and support of China's stance.