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China, Western Countries Face Off (Again) Over Xinjiang at UN Human Rights Council

China will be the subject of a Universal Public Review on Tuesday at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Human rights in China’s western Xinjiang region was once again at the center of a bitter diplomatic feud that erupted on Wednesday at the opening session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. 

On one side, Holland submitted a letter to the Council on Tuesday on behalf of 47 signatories, predominantly from the Global North. Then, as is now the custom, a group of developing countries, this time led by Cuba, submitted a rebuttal letter signed by 70 countries that rallied to China’s defense.

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