Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed his country’s support for the Chinese government regarding its policies in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, Hong Kong and Tibet — regions where the communist government is accused of carrying out massive human rights violations and genocide. In a joint statement on Sunday, Khan who is on a four-day visit to the country, expressed Pakistan’s “commitment to One-China Policy and support for China on Taiwan, South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.
Khan is visiting China to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics and meet the top Chinese leadership from political and business areas. The visit also aims to raise financial assistance for inflation-hit Pakistan. On Friday, he signed a new agreement with China to kick off the second phase of the controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Meanwhile, the support by Pakistan comes at a time when the global community along with rights groups have been raising concerns about a crackdown on human rights, centralisation of political power and extensive surveillance by the Chinese government. Under President Xi Jinping, Chinese authorities have been committing mass abuses against Uyghurs, Tibetans, ethnic groups, and religious believers from all independent faith groups, a Human Rights Watch group said in late January.
According to the report, the Chinese government has eliminated independent civil society by persecuting human rights activists, feminists, lawyers, journalists, and others. The government has eviscerated a once-vibrant civil society in Hong Kong, expanded tech-enabled surveillance to significantly curtail the rights to expression, association, and peaceful assembly, and allowed the use of forced labour, in violation of international law, it added.
In Xinjiang, the Chinese administration is accused of detaining over a million people of minorities, in a large network of what the state calls “re-education camps.” Since 2016, several reports have come into the light detailing the brutal policies of China including “forced birth control and sterilisation” of Uyghur ethnic groups.
Over the last few days, multiple protests have already been held by a coalition of Tibetan groups in Canada to highlight the occupation of the plateau by China and condemn the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) “complicity in sports washing” human rights violations there. India’s Dharamshala area where a large population of Tibetans live, has also seen similar protests.