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Bachelet’s newly published report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang has already first impacts. The United Nations may have no concrete power over China, and the report is only a mere paper for many member countries, but when things are openly named, the way they are perceived changes; in this case, it affects the severe human rights violations in western China.
As Marcel Grzanna reports, there were a lot of reactions to the report on the following day. The German Foreign Office demands the release of all detainees in Xinjiang. Other demands are directed at Volkswagen. The company should end its involvement in the region. This is nothing new, but it now has the backing of the UN.
Some states have already labeled human rights violations in Xinjiang as genocide. The US even passed a law against questionable imports from the region. The UN report could now provide a tailwind for more such laws.
Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit continues to preoccupy military and trade experts. Even after the end of the official Chinese military maneuvers around Taiwan, warships and fighter jets frequently cross the so-called median line in the middle of the Taiwan Strait. There are numerous indications that China’s military wants to move this unofficial border, Christiane Kuehl reports. The risk of accidental escalation continues to grow as Chinese and Taiwanese warships come dangerously close.
Our team in Beijing reports on rarely mentioned victims of the Taiwan escalation. As a result of the visit, China unilaterally terminated some cooperation formats with the United States. Among them is the fight against drugs. The People’s Republic is the biggest supplier of illegal fentanyl. The opioid is added to drugs such as cocaine and heroin to increase their effectiveness. Ending cooperation could increase the number of drug deaths in the United States. China’s authorities are deliberately accepting this to harm the USA.
Xinjiang report sparks harsh reactions
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report on the situation in the autonomous Chinese region of Xinjiang creates a stir in Germany. The German Foreign Office called on the Chinese government to immediately release the detained Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minorities and to “immediately grant all people in Xinjiang their full human rights.” The Foreign Office announced its intention to discuss possible consequences of the “carefully researched” report with the US and its European partners.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, Peter Heidt, called for the involvement of German companies in Xinjiang to be closely investigated. Heidt sees particular responsibility on the part of Wolfsburg-based automaker Volkswagen, which has been operating a factory in the regional capital of Urumqi in cooperation with Chinese state-owned corporation SAIC for nearly ten years. “We need to discuss VW’s involvement in Xinjiang,” Heidt told China.Table.
Human Rights Council could investigate
He had noticed that a much more critical attitude toward China as a business location recently developed among medium-sized companies. He knows many medium-sized companies that have already returned to the European Union as their production site. “We are in a systemic competition with China and must therefore also keep a very close eye on the economic impact on our democracy,” Heidt said.