China expresses ‘regret’ over U.S. leaving U.N. rights council

China expresses 'regret' over U.S. leaving U.N. rights council

June 20 (UPI) — China expressed regret over a U.S. decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday China plans to work with other council member states on dialogue and cooperation.

“We will continue to work with stakeholder countries in the future,” Geng said. “We will contribute to the healthy development of international human rights projects through constructive dialogue and cooperation.”

The United States withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council, citing political bias against Israel.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also accused the council of protecting rights abusers and criticized the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“China expresses regret that the United States has decided to withdraw from UNHRC,” Geng said Wednesday. “The UNHRC was established with the authority of the United Nations General Assembly, and it is an important platform for the countries concerned to promote dialogue and cooperation in the human rights field and to promote the development of human rights through mutual exchange.”

The council was established in 2006. The United States joined the council in 2009.

China is directly addressing U.S. actions at the U.N. at a time of increased trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

CNN reported Wednesday Chinese investment totaled $1.8 billion between January and May, a 92 percent drop compared to the same period in 2017.

Chinese firms are wary of a trade fight, said research firm Rhodium Group.

“The more confrontational approach of the Trump administration toward economic relations with China has cast some doubt, in these companies’ minds, about their position here,” said Thilo Hanemann.

The United States is also taking tougher restrictions against Chinese graduate students studying in the sciences.

The new policy that went into effect June 11 shortens the duration of Chinese student visas, from a duration of five years to one year.