Chinese President Xi Jinping and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet Wednesday held a video call during her visit to Xinjiang, which was marred with continued allegations of atrocities against the Uyghur minority in China. Some countries, such as the US and Canada, have called the atrocities “genocide.” Canada’s Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs released a statement regarding the issue back in 2021. While an unofficial tribunal called it “genocide,” Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have not used the term, even as they document the atrocities.
Many Western countries believe it was a mistake for Bachelet to visit China. The US believed she would not have the ability to “conduct a complete, unmanipulated assessment of the human rights environment in Xinjiang.” China could use Bachelet’s planned and narrow visit as a public relations tool which focuses on what China is doing well. They can likewise avoid questions regarding Uyghur treatment and restrict access to Bachelet.
During a virtual meeting between President Xi and Bachelet, Xi was quoted saying “On the issue of human rights, no country is perfect, there is no need for ‘preachers’ to boss around other countries.”
As genocide claims emerge in Ukraine, the world must decide how to deal with countries being accused of such atrocities.