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What national interests has India achieved by abstaining at UNHRC vote on Xinjiang?

The lack of a clear, consistent policy on China is not just a drag on India’s ability to shape international narratives on that country, but provides wings to China’s ability to promote its own narratives of what happened, and is happening at the LAC

October 14, 2022 / 10:37 AM IST
India abstained from voting on a draft resolution in the UNHRC on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China's Xinjiang region.

India abstained from voting on a draft resolution in the UNHRC on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China's Xinjiang region.

In Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, George Smiley is asked a question about what morality was — whether it was a method or if it was “vested in the aims”.

“Difficult to know what one’s aims are, that’s the trouble”, concludes the speaker.

The conversation offers a useful framework to tackle the subject of India’s abstention during a vote on a draft resolution in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a debate on the human rights situation in China’s troubled Xinjiang province.

There is conclusive proof of human rights abuses by China’s Party-State apparatus against Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang from both the UNHRC and reputable international organisations such as the Human Rights Watch. The abstention on October 6, therefore, implies several things for India’s international reputation.