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FIRST ON FOX: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday called for the United Nations to fire its human rights chief after a controversial trip to Xinjiang, which Haley dubbed a “Chinese propaganda tour” that looked “the other way on genocide.”
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet visited the Xinjiang region, where the communist regime in Beijing has been persecuting minorities, as part of a six-day tour to China.
Activists and others, including Haley, had called on Bachelet to condemn what the U.S. and others have called the genocide of Uyhur Muslims in the region. China has claimed it is engaged in anti-radicalization and counterterrorism, but activists and governments have pointed instead to evidence of mass detention, forced sterilizations, bans on religious and cultural practices and torture.
But, after a trip that was highly restricted by Beijing, Bachelet’s remarks were heavy on praise, for China but measured in their criticism.
She touted the “tremendous achievements” in poverty alleviation, universal healthcare, as well as China’s “valued” support on the U.N.’s 2030 multilateral Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the regime’s human rights abuses, she said that she had “raised questions and concerns” about Xinjiang as she also appeared to accept Chinese claims that the policies were designed to tackle terrorism and radicalization.
“I encouraged the Government to undertake a review of all counter terrorism and deradicalization policies to ensure they fully comply with international human rights standards, and in particular that they are not applied in an arbitrary and discriminatory way,” she said.
The remarks drew outrage from multiple corners, and Haley was scathing in her response to the visit — going so far as to call for Bachelet to be fired and for countries to pull their funding from the organization.
“The U.N. sold its soul to China by continuing to let it buy off its agency heads,” Haley said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“First the World Health Organization refused to condemn China for COVID. Now the Human Rights Council head goes on a Chinese propaganda tour, looking the other way on genocide,” she said. “Either the U.N. fires Michelle Bachelet or countries should drop their U.N. funding.”
Haley has long been a critic of the U.N.’s human rights efforts. It was when she was U.N. ambassador that the U.S. pulled out of the Human Rights Council, citing the organization’s anti-Israel bias and its membership — which includes a number of countries with poor human rights records, including China.
Even the Biden administration, which rejoined the Human Rights Council this year, expressed concern about Bachelet’s visit — noting that many restrictions that were placed on the visit by Beijing.
“While we continue to raise our concerns about China’s human rights abuses directly with Beijing and support others who do so, we are concerned the conditions Beijing authorities imposed on the visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment in the PRC, including in Xinjiang, where genocide and crimes against humanity are ongoing,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.