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China, Russia, other human rights abusers elected to U.N. Human Rights Council

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China, Russia, Cuba, and Pakistan, all of whom have highly questionable track records on human rights, were appointed to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday afternoon.

Breaking down the votes, China received 72%, Cuba 88%, Russia 82%, and Pakistan 87.5%. Saudi Arabia’s bid, on the other hand, failed to gain enough support, only getting 46%.

Each year, several countries are elected to the governing board of the U.N. Human Rights Council for three-year terms.

The council’s mission is to promote and protect human rights around the globe as well as to address any rights violations and recommend actions for them. It has long been criticized for failing to properly address human rights abuses and for giving membership to undemocratic countries who routinely violate these rights.

China has been run by an authoritarian, one-party regime since 1949. Information and free speech are severely regulated there. In recent years, aside from violating the human rights of Hong Kongers and suppressing their democracy, China has imprisoned at least a million ethnic Uighur Muslims in what have been described as “concentration camps” and it has alleged that China has carried out forced sterilizations of Uighur women and the mass harvesting of their organs.

There was a hope after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 that Russia would become a prosperous liberal democracy like many Western nations. Vladimir Putin, however, has dragged the country’s back to shadows of authoritarianism since taking power on New Year’s Eve in 1999, getting rid of free speech and assembly among other abuses.

Cuba has been run by a communist dictatorship since 1959. This regime has consistently violated the human rights of its citizens, forcing many Cubans to flee to the United States over the decades.

Like many of these other countries, Pakistan suppresses freedom of speech. Another major issue is that Pakistan has failed to prevent violence against women and those who perpetrate it. Additionally, the country’s blasphemy laws heavily discriminate against religious minorities.

Beside these nations, the others who were elected to the Human Rights Council today include France, the United Kingdom, Bolivia, Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, Senegal, Ukraine, Gabon, and Uzbekistan.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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China Says It’s Ready for Monkeypox and the West Isn’t

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As the Western press is becoming more and more concerned with monkeypox outbreaks, a recent bombshell report shows that Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China manipulated monkeypox to be more contagious in humans. This follows more evidence that the WIV had been experimenting with bat coronaviruses to increasingly infect humans.

But rather than agree to an honest investigation into the WIV and its role in spreading contagion around the world, China is once again trying to sell us an alternative reality. According to Chinese state-run media, it is China that is once again poised to be humanity’s savior and darling when it comes to fighting monkeypox, much like COVID-19. Not only that, but CCP press reporting shows evidence of China having an eerily well advanced infrastructure and gameplan to fight monkeypox. The West in contrast is not prepared, according to China.

Claim #1: China has the Wisdom to Fight Monkeypox

First, Chinese state-run media portray China as in a good position to combat monkeypox due to wisdom gleaned from combating COVID-19 and smallpox. One Global Times article noted that “[i]n the very early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has taken the measures of ‘early identification, reporting, isolation, diagnosis and treatment.’ Under such guidance, China has become one of the most successful countries in the COVID fight.” Another Global Times article cites a World Health Organization official as stating that “China’s COVID-19 control measures in place and largely reduced international arrivals minimize the risks of contagion in China.” A third Global Times article, citing “experts,” claims that “China’s successful experience in eliminating smallpox would also help the country act if monkeypox enters China’s borders…”

Claim #2: Chinese Healthcare Infrastructure Is Well Prepared to Deal with Monkeypox

China is well ahead of the game in dealing with monkeypox, according to Chinese state-run media. Chinese experts “suggest preparation of testing and treatment capacities in advance” to proactively combat monkeypox, according to Global Times. And “drug research should start early so that China can still control [monkeypox] should it assume pandemic proportions,” according to China Daily.

China is apparently quite far along in this “preparation” and “research.”

There are “several” Chinese manufacturers that have already made monkeypox nucleic acid test kits, and that these “can be quickly put into mass production and on the domestic market once approved by the government,” according to a second Global Times article.  This article also states that Chinese manufacturer Liferiver Bio-Tech has a nucleic acid test that has already been ordered in China and abroad.

This same article also states that vaccine development faces “no technological problems” and a vaccine can be produced in China in a year if China’s drug administration administers “a rapid special review.” China’s CDC also has already stockpiled “millions” of doses of smallpox vaccine, produced “an emergency response technical plan on monkeypox, stocked monkeypox detection reagents, and conducted training on monkeypox nucleic acid PCR testing for provincial and municipal CDC professionals.”

Mirroring its earlier “mask diplomacy” for COVID-19, it looks like China is beginning to export its healthcare to the world to help combat monkeypox. China’s Sansure Biotech is ready to register its nucleic acid test kit for monkeypox abroad, according to Global Times. And Jiangsu Bioperfectus Technologies has already has its Monkeypox Virus Real Time PCR Kits in the international market, according to Global Times.

Claim #3: The West is Ill-Equipped to Handle Monkeypox

On the other hand, Chinese media portrays the West as ill-equipped to handle monkeypox. For example, according to one Global Times editorial, “[t]he COVID pandemic that killed more than 1 million people in the US has given a tragic lesson to the US and the West, but it still remains to be seen to what extent the US and the West learned from it.” The West’s “conspiracy theories” and “panic” contributed to the “Western countries’ poor response to COVID-19.” That CCP editorial also pontificates that “[i]t is hoped that Western countries hit by monkeypox can do a good job in responding to the outbreak. They should not misjudge the virus with outdated perceptions…”

Claim #4: Current Monkeypox spread originated from outside China

Chinese media avoids the possibility that this current monkeypox outbreak could have originated in China. One Global Times article claims that there have been no cases of monkeypox reported in China, and that China faces a threat from monkeypox due to the cases being “outside known epidemic areas of Africa.” The fact that many countries have now lifted bans against international travel is the culprit for increased risk of monkeypox transmission, according to anonymous source within the Chinese CDC as mentioned in that same article. Another Global Times article stated that China could quarantine inbound international travellers “if necessary.”

The CCP propaganda machine is at it again.  Much like it tries to portray itself as a leader in fighting COVID-19, China is beginning to run a similar propaganda campaign for monkeypox. China is using COVID-19, and increasingly now monkeypox, as vehicles to curry favor and deflect responsibility for spreading contagion around the world, and to grow markets for healthcare technology and supplies.

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