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Experts: UN speech on Xinjiang biased
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Chinese experts Wednesday chided the UN Human Rights chief for her remarks over the recent riots in Xinjiang, calling them "biased" and "indiscreet".

"The remarks will definitely hurt relations between China and the UN in the field of human rights," said Pang Zhongying, an expert at the international studies department of Renmin University of China.

Navanethem Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, reportedly expressed concern over the riots in Xinjiang as well as the situation in Tibet while delivering a report to the 12th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights on Tuesday.

She criticized the Chinese government for "discrimination and the failure to protect minority rights."

The report reflects "ingrained prejudice against China," and only repeated the old tones used by some Western countries against China, Pang said.

Dong Yunhu, vice-president and secretary-general of China Society for Human Rights Studies, said some foreigners have always made their judgments on Tibet and Xinjiang based on fragments of information.

"They should try to know more about Xinjiang and Tibet, especially the government's policies and measures to safeguard human rights there," he said.

Li Baodong, China's permanent UN representative in Geneva, also expressed regret over Pillay's speech and said that the current issues in Xinjiang and Tibet are "not about human rights."

"It is regrettable that the high commissioner did not respect the fact and interferes in the domestic affairs of a sovereign country," he said.

A different picture

In another development, a high-level EU official said yesterday after a four-day visit to Tibet that life there is quite different from what Western people are generally told.

"I must tell you that from what we were able to witness, there is religious freedom," Mario Sepi, president of the European Economic and Social Committee, told the media in Beijing.

"We saw people in the streets praying, going about their own business with their own personal religious beliefs. We visited two temples they were full."

Sepi said he was also impressed by the "tremendous economic growth" in Tibet.

(China Daily September 17, 2009)

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