U.S. Lawmakers Pressure UN to Step Up China Human Rights Review

The co-chairs of a congressional panel charged with monitoring human rights in China and calibrating U.S. policy toward the nation pressed the United Nations secretary-general to step up his organization’s review of potential violations.

“We request that your office advise whether there has been any progress in implementing the measures suggested” recently by a group of 50 human rights advocates,” Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Jim McGovern wrote in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday. “If no action has been taken in this regard, please provide a basis for the failure to act.”

U.S. Lawmakers Pressure UN to Step Up China Human Rights Review

The letter to Guterres comes as the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its 100th anniversary and U.S. officials heighten their focus on what they characterize as gross human rights abuses by Beijing in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

“Rights abuses across China have not abated,” Merkley and McGovern, both Democrats, wrote. “We echo the UN experts’ call for immediate measures to closely monitor and assess China’s behavior.”

China has repeatedly rejected charges that it commits human rights abuses and has said the U.S. and other nations who raise the issue are seeking to meddle in internal affairs.

A spokesman for the secretary-general didn’t have any immediate comment on the report, while noting that Michelle Bachelet, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, has repeatedly raised human rights concerns in China.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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