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Statement by the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland
2020/06/26

On June 26, Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and a few other Special Procedures "experts" of the UN Human Rights Council, trespassing their mandates, issued an erroneous statement against China, which seriously distorted facts, severely infringed upon China's sovereignty, interfered in its internal affairs and flagrantly violated the Charter of the United Nations. China categorically rejects and strongly condemns the statement.

No one has a better say on a country's human rights than the people of that country. Bearing in mind people's pursuit for a better life as the overriding human rights, the Chinese government and people have blazed a path of human rights development with Chinese characteristics and achieved historic progress. Today nearly 1.4 billion people live in prosperity, peace, freedom and happiness in China. The legitimate rights of people of all ethnic groups, including the ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet Autonomous Region, are fully protected. This year, China will complete the building of a moderately prosperous society and eliminate extreme poverty for the first time ever in history. This is the world's largest human rights project and the best human rights practice. Faced with the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, China, putting people's right to life and health above anything else, has made major progress in prevention and control of the pandemic through arduous efforts and after making tremendous sacrifices. From the outset, China has made public information on COVID-19 in an open, transparent and responsible manner, taken an active part in international cooperation in fighting COVID-19 and, to the best of its ability, provided support and assistance to countries in need. Progress in human rights in China and China's contribution to world human rights cause are for all to see, and are not to be obliterated by the nonsense of these unqualified "experts".

The irresponsible remarks and unwarranted accusations by the so-called "experts" in their press release on the national security legislation for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China exposed fully their ignorance and prejudice. Legislation on national security is a sovereign act of a State. To establish and improve a legal framework and enforcement mechanism for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong in line with the Constitution and the Basic Law, designed to plug in the existing loopholes in national security legislation for Hong Kong and to safeguard national sovereignty and security, is both legitimate and necessary. This contributes to the smooth implementation of "one country, two systems" in the long run, and serves long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. Targeting only the extremely limited acts that endanger national security, the legislation facilitates better exercising of the legitimate rights and freedoms by Hong Kong residents in a safe environment and enjoys solid support of all Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots. Almost 3,000,000 signatures by people from all walks of life in the Hong Kong SAR in support of the legislation represents fully the common aspiration of the Hong Kong citizens.

Lacking rudimentary knowledge of the history and reality of Hong Kong, these "experts" whitewashed "anti-China" forces attempting to destabilize Hong Kong and mobsters as "peaceful human rights defenders". They turn a blind eye to China's sovereign rights to safeguard national security and the Hong Kong citizens' anticipation for a safe and stable society, and made malicious accusations against China over the legitimate and just legislation, to the extent of shamelessly requesting China to withdraw the draft law. This has not only shown a lack of basic professionalism on the part of the so-called "experts", but also gone beyond human conscience, attempting to earn eyeballs for selfish gains by slandering a sovereign State.

China has always supported the work of the UN human rights mechanisms and stands ready for constructive dialogue with the Special Procedures on the basis of mutual respect. Nevertheless, China will never accept baseless accusations by and public pressure from Special Procedure mandate-holders under the pretext of human rights. In recent years some Special Procedures "experts" have repeatedly abused their mandates out of ulterior motives and made press release based on unverified information to interfere with the sovereignty and internal affairs of States, to the extent of hijacking the work of the inter-governmental organization consisting of sovereign States. These acts have gravely breached the Charter of the United Nations, seriously undermined the credibility of the Special Procedures and aroused concerns from more and more States. The Human Rights Council must hold misconducts of "experts" accountable to ensure that the Special Procedures truly facilitate and contribute to the international human rights cause, instead of becoming obstacles to or undoers of human rights the world over.

China warns the relevant parties that China stands rocksolid in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development interests, implementing "one country, two systems" and rejecting any external intervention in China's domestic affairs. No one and no force can stop China's endeavor towards development and progress. Any attempt to bring shame on China under the pretext of human rights is doomed to failure.

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