EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: China is leading a charge to undermine accepted concepts of human rights accountability and justice around the world. This effort, backed by autocrats, has turned human rights into an underrated yet crucial battleground in the shaping of a new world order.
Beijing is engaged in a concerted bid to undermine accepted standards of human rights around the world. Its maneuvers include an unprecedented crackdown on Turkic Muslims in the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang, an accelerated rollout of restrictions elsewhere in the country, and the export of key elements of a Chinese model of a 21st century Orwellian surveillance state.
The Chinese effort, as highlighted in the just-published, 674-page World Report 2019 from Human Rights Watch, is multipronged.
It involves proposals to alter the principles on which the UN Human Rights Council operates in ways that would enable repressive, autocratic regimes.
To achieve its goal, Beijing is flexing its financial muscle and using its infrastructure- and energy-driven Belt and Road Initiative to economically entice countries that are financially strapped, desperate for investment, and/or on the defensive because of human rights abuses.