India steered clear of joining other countries including US, UK, France, Germany etc. in criticizing Beijing for violation of human rights in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet.
The avoidance came as a surprise as recently the India-China border stand-off strained the relations between the two neighbours, reports Deccan Herald.
As many as 39 nations recently closed ranks at the United Nations, to express grave concern over reports of gross violations of the human rights of the Uighurs at Xinjiang in northwest China, the crackdown on the democracy activists in Hong Kong and continued repressive measures in Tibet.
Christoph Heusgen, Berlin's envoy to the United Nations (UN), read out a statement on behalf of Germany and the 38 other nations during a meeting of the "Third Committee" of the international organization last Tuesday – calling on China to respect human rights, particularly the rights of persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, especially in Xinjiang and Tibet.
They also expressed concern over the new National Security Law, which President Xi Jinping's government in Beijing imposed on semi-autonomous Hong Kong.
The "Third Committee" of the UN deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues.
The 39 nations particularly expressed concern over "the existence of a large network of political re-education camps (at Xinjiang in China)", where "credible reports" cited by them indicated that over a million people had been arbitrarily detained.
India, however, did not jump on the bandwagon and stayed away from the move at the UN led by the US and other western nations to condemn China.
The 39 nations called on China to allow "immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and her office" as well as the "relevant special procedure mandate holders" of the international organization.
But New Delhi stuck to its old stand against the use of aggressive and overly intrusive methods by the international community to respond to the allegation of human rights violations by any particular country.
"While we remain continuously engaged in promotion and protection of human rights worldwide, we need an honest appraisal of whether the international community has managed to achieve genuine improvement in human rights, by undertaking aggressive and and overly intrusive methods without consultation and consent of the country concerned," Ashish Sharma, First Secretary of India's permanent mission at the UN headquarters in New York, said while delivering the national statement of India at the Committee of the UN.
Cuba, on the other hand, led a group of 45 nations to present a counter-statement, extending support to China's counterterrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang. Though Russia, Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka joined the group led by Cuba opposed "politicization of human rights issues and double standards", India stayed away from it too.