Opposition slams India’s abstention from UNHRC vote on China’s Xinjiang

India abstained from voting on a draft resolution in the UNHRC on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China’s restive Xinjiang region; MEA defends move

India abstained from an UNHRC vote on China's Xinjiang region
Human rights groups have been sounding the alarm over what is happening in the Chinese province of Xinjiang for years, alleging that more than one million Uyghurs have been detained against their will in a large network of what Beijing calls "re-education camps". Pic: iStock

Opposition leaders on Friday criticised the Union government for abstaining from voting on a draft resolution in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China’s restive Xinjiang region. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) defended the Centre’s move.

The decision was in line with the practice of not voting on country-specific resolutions, said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi at a media briefing. He was replying to a question on the issue. 

‘Why the diffidence?’

Meanwhile, the Opposition said India should speak for what is right and should not be afraid of its neighbour. Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Manish Tewari wondered why there was “so much diffidence on China”.

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“The Government of India will not agree to a Parliamentary debate on Chinese incursions. India will abstain at UNHRC on a resolution for debate on human rights in Xinjiang,” he tweeted. He alleged that the MEA does not accord political clearance to Parliamentarians to visit Taiwan.

Trinamool Congress spokesperson Saket Gokhale tweeted: “Giving them our land and abstaining from holding them to account. What exactly is it that makes (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi so afraid of China?”

Modi criticised

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi wanted to know from the Prime Minister the reason for India’s decision “to help China out in the UNHRC on the Uighur issue”. “Is he so scared of offending (Chinese President) Xi Jingping, whom he met 18 times, that India can’t speak for what is right?” he tweeted.

“From red eye to closed eye,” tweeted Priyanka Chaturvedi, Shiv Sena leader, in Hindi.

India on Thursday abstained from voting on a draft resolution in the UNHRC on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China’s restive Xinjiang region.

Human rights groups have been sounding the alarm over what is happening in the resource-rich north-western Chinese province for years, alleging that more than one million Uyghurs had been detained against their will in a large network of what Beijing calls “re-education camps”.

With agency inputs

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