BEIJING – China criticized on Wednesday the decision by the United States to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council after the US government alleged that the council’s members included countries with poor human rights records, including China.
The US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley justified the withdrawal on Tuesday, alleging the council is a “protector of human rights abusers” and “a cesspool of political bias” while criticizing the membership of countries such as China, Venezuela and Cuba for allegedly not respecting human rights.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press briefing that China regrets the US’ decision to withdraw, adding the council is an “important platform for parties to conduct dialogue, cooperation, exchange and mutual learning in the human rights area.”
Geng said China consistently advocates commitment to multilateralism and support to the human rights council.
“We protect and promote human rights globally,” he added.
The spokesperson rejected accusations of human rights abuse leveled against Beijing and said China’s contribution to human rights was evident.
Geng said it was believed the “US attitude against the human rights council is opposed by most of the international members” and the US is “very aware” of that.
The latest annual human rights report of the US Department of State released in April listed China, Russia, Iran and North Korea as countries that violate the rights of their citizens “on a daily basis.”
The report alleged that the Chinese government was responsible for abuses such as executions without due process, forced disappearances and arbitrary detentions – allegations which have also been leveled by a number of international organizations.
Washington’s withdrawal from the UNHRC is the latest US departure from multilateral agreements, after it abandoned UNESCO, the Paris Agreement and the nuclear pact with Iran in recent months.