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8 Apr, 2022 12:20

China explains why it backed Russia at UN

Beijing voted against resolution to suspend Russia from UN Human Rights Council
China explains why it backed Russia at UN

China has explained its decision to vote against the UN General Assembly resolution to suspend Russia from the global body's Human Rights Council, calling Moscow’s exclusion politically motivated and slamming the resolution as lacking transparency.

The resolution was adopted on Thursday with 93 nations voting in favor, 24 against, and 58 abstaining. Following the vote, Russia declared that it had already decided to leave the Council before the end of its term.

“We oppose the politicization and instrumentalization of human rights issues, the practice of selective double standards and confrontation on human rights issues, and the use of human rights issues to put pressure on other countries,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian told journalists on Friday.

He added that the drafting process of the resolution was neither open nor transparent and suggested that its adoption would only “add fuel to the fire” by intensifying tensions among the parties and aggravating divisions inside the UN.

Russia’s deputy permanent representative at the UN, Gennady Kuzmin, described the resolution as “an illegitimate and politically motivated step designed as a demonstrative punishment of a sovereign UN member state that is carrying out independent internal and external policies.”

In explaining Russia’s decision to quit the UN body, he declared that the Human Rights Council was “monopolized by a single group of states that exploits the mechanism to achieve their opportunistic goals.” He added that “Russia’s true commitment to protecting and promoting human rights does not let us remain part of [this] international mechanism.”

The initiative to exclude Moscow from the Council originated in Washington. In late March, a bipartisan group of American senators called on the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, to introduce the resolution. The US cited alleged Russian human rights violations in Ukraine as justification for the move.

Since the launch of its military operation in Ukraine on February 24, Moscow has repeatedly denied such allegations, claiming that it seeks to minimize casualties and only attack military targets as part of its stated goal of demilitarizing the country.