China Cables: A million detained in camps


Sir, – Your Editorial is right about the China Cables that, “the savagery that leaps from these cables has no place in the modern world” (November 25th).

However, you’re being naive to suggest that, ignoring China’s crimes is “too high a price” for “increasing our dealings” with Xi Jinping’s government, especially in terms of trade.

As long as the world’s public and media continues to expect constant, aggressive economic growth from its politicians, including in Ireland, then we’ll have no choice but to “hold our noses” and pursue ever bigger trade deals with the Chinese.

Of course, Mr Xi understands this simple reality as well as anyone. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 7.

Sir, – The Irish Times is to be commended for publishing the leaked documents on the treatment of Uighur people detained in camps in Xinjiang in China (“More than a million people detained in camps in China,” Colm Keena and David O’Brien, November 25th). It is vital that all such abuses be exposed. The Chinese government may justify its actions as necessary for preventing terrorism.

Terrorism is best prevented by proper application of the rule of law towards those accused of terrorism, combined with respect for the human rights of all those hundreds of thousands of Uighur people reported as being held in detention camps.

This unacceptable pattern of human rights abuses on the pretext of prevention of terrorism is not confined to China.

The United States and its allies have been using the so-called war on terrorism to wreak havoc and human rights abuses across the Middle East since 9/11, the scale of which far exceeds what is happening in Xinjiang, although this in no way justifies or mitigates the abuses by Chinese authorities.

Credible report by the Watson Institute, Brown University estimates that several million people have died as a result of these US-led wars, yet criticism of these abuses have been far too muted in our Western media, and governments. The United Nations which should be taking actions against these abuses is prevented from doing so by its flawed charter. The UN Charter prevents the UN from interfering within states and allows its five UN Security Council permanent members to commit crimes against humanity with impunity by misuse of their powers of veto over the UN.

The Irish Government should not remain silent on all these abuses. By our silence and inaction we are complicit. – Yours, etc,


Castletroy, Limerick.