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China, Russia hand-in-glove to derail India’s UNSC dream?

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photo credit: www.thehindu.com
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New Delhi: A report appeared on Friday claiming that both China and Russia tried to scuttle the process of  the UN General Assembly which recently adopted a negotiating text by consensus for the long-pending Security Council reforms.

photo credit: defencetalk.net
photo credit: defencetalk.net

 

The report further said had the Chinese and Russian diplomats succeeded in their ‘stealth operation’, it would have diluted the entire negotiations on unnecessary technicalities which would have meant the UN would be negotiating UNSC reform for years and years without a decision in sight.

However, India, supported by a number of countries, got wind of the ‘stealth operation’ and vehemently opposed the move.

The group led by India even launched a protest at UNGA president, Sam Kutesa’s residence over the weekend, forcing him to remove the offending paragraphs.

The Chinese, however, were not ready to give up without a bigger fight.

The Chinese diplomats approached a number of national capitals to get the text amended before it reached the floor on Monday – the day when it was finally adopted by the UNGA.

Some countries even agreed to support the Chinese, but Bejiing eventually failed to get the numbers that India had.

Interestingly, when all this was happening, the US strangely remained silent – either to see whether could win on its own, or because they are keeping their powder dry to kill the process later, or because they silently supported the Sino-Russian move.

Due to India’s hard lobbying, it apparently became an India-China battle in those last frenzied moments in the UN.

However, seeing the Russians backing the Chinese, after supposedly supporting India’s case for almost half a century, came as a big shocker for New Delhi.

This week, Russia sent its deputy foreign minister, Gennady Gatilov to meet Sujata Mehta in the MEA, after their performance in the UN.

A statement from the Russian embassy said, the two “exchanged opinions on the main aspects of intergovernmental negotiation process considering the current various options for the increase in the United Nations Security Council membership. The Russian Side reaffirmed the readiness to support the Indian candidature for the United Nations Security Council.”

However, India this time has taken the Russian betrayal hard.

As per the report, China and Russia are now planing to take the battle forward and the two are now said to be working on the Jamaican government to remove Courtney Rattray – the main brain behind the UNSC reform text.

If they succeed, Rattray will not be able to head the negotiations on the text and it can be given to someone unfamiliar with the history of the text. If this happens, it would come as a big blow to India.

The UNGA decision to negotiate UNSC reform succeeded on two counts. First, after 23 years there is a text on which the UN can negotiate a reform agenda. Second, in a fair fight, the 13-country group led by China and including Pakistan and Italy called United for Consensus could not drum up enough support for stalling the process.

(with inputs from Zeenews)

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Tibetan Activist Sentenced to 5 Years of Imprisonment in China

A Tibetan education activist was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for inciting separatism, Amnesty International (AI) said, calling the sentence "unjust" and urging his immediate release.

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A Tibetan education activist was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for inciting separatism, Amnesty International (AI) said, calling the sentence “unjust” and urging his immediate release.

The main evidence against Tashi Wangchuk, who was sentenced by a court in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, was a 2015 video by the New York Times about his campaign for saving the Tibetan language, according to his lawyer.

“Today’s verdict against Tashi Wangchuk is a gross injustice. He is being cruelly punished for peacefully drawing attention to the systematic erosion of Tibetan culture,” AI East Asia Research Director Joshua Rosenzweig was cited as saying by Efe news.

Before his arrest, the 31-year-old activist had expressed concern over the fact that many Tibetan children could not fluently speak their native language, contributing to the progressive extinction of the Tibetan culture.

Representational Image: Tibetan Teachings
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Tashi must be immediately and unconditionally released,” demanded AI, pointing out that the activist had already spent two years in detention without access to his family.

Rosenzweig claimed that Tashi Wangchuk “was a human rights defender and prisoner of conscience who used the media and China’s own legal system in his struggle to preserve Tibetan language, culture and identity”.

In the New York Times video, the activist had highlighted “the extreme discrimination and restrictions on freedom of expression that Tibetans face in China today”.

Also Read: An Attempt to Preserve Ancient Tibetan Literature

Non-profit Human Rights Watch (HRW) also criticized the prison term for Tashi Wangchuk, whose “only crime was to peacefully call for the right of minority peoples to use their own language”, a right safeguarded by the Chinese Constitution.

“His conviction on bogus separatism charges show that critics of government policy on minorities have no legal protections,” said HRW China Director Sophie Richardson. (IANS)

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