China escapes unscathed following world leaders UN summit: ‘Exhaustion has set in’

China’s speech at the United Nations has caused friction with critics who allege that countries have grown quiet on Beijing’s hypocritical stances with respect to a number of issues, ranging from human rights to the energy crisis.

“We saw this with a number of Beijing Olympics sponsors who preach social justice in the U.S. and turn a blind eye towards mass torture, rape and forced labor in China,” Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on readiness, told Fox News Digital.

“The appeal of the Chinese market is just too tempting despite their long history of stealing IP, subsidizing competitors and using slave labor,” he added.

Chinese Vice President Han Zheng focused his speech at the U.N. General Assembly during its annual high-level week on a number of issues related to equity, justice and international peace, saying that “diversity is a defining feature of human civilization … civilizations should prosper together by respecting each other, advance together by drawing on each other’s strengths and seek win-win outcomes by pursuing common ground.”

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Zheng also said nations should advance human rights through cooperation and oppose double standards; in particular, the use of human rights and democracy as a political tool to interfere in the affairs of other countries.

China's Vice President Han Zheng addresses the United Nations General Assembly

Chinese Vice President Han Zheng addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 21, 2023. (Ed Jones / AFP via Getty Images)

Many countries at the United Nation’s high-level week found it easy to hit upon Russia and the continued invasion of Ukraine, but few, if any, took China to task for the hypocrisy of espousing the need to advance human rights while committing what a U.N. report called “serious human rights violations” toward its Muslim population, the Uyghur people.

“People have given up trying to change China. Exhaustion has set in,” Gordon Chang, senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute and author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” told Fox News Digital.

China's Vice President Han Zheng addresses the United Nations General Assembly

Chinese Vice President Han Zheng addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 21, 2023. (Ed Jones / AFP via Getty Images)

“At least in the past, people were hopeful about making money in the China market,” he explained. “They thought – correctly – that criticism of China’s rights record would mean Beijing would block them from business opportunities.”

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He suggested that the world has not maintained interest in the Uyghur crisis because “they cannot see” the crimes China commits, making it difficult to hold China accountable even as reports from global bodies find continued evidence of human rights abuses.

Uyghur protest

Uyghur activist and artist Rahima Mahmut attends a vigil in London on Feb. 13, 2023, to protest against the planned visit of Erkin Tuniyaz, governor of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. (Isabel Infantes / AFP via Getty Images)

Chang lambasted China for the fact that “virtually all” of its policies “are hypocritical,” pointing to “Beijing’s pronouncements on world peace.”

“While saying that China has never attacked any other society, China is fueling the Ukraine war with lethal and other aid to Russia, is supporting insurgencies that look like wars in North Africa, and is threatening in East Asia to break apart neighbors as well as annex Taiwan,” Chang said.

Xinhai Power Generation plant

Coal is seen in a storage facility at the Jiangsu Xinhai Power Generation Co. Ltd. in Lianyungang, China, on July 14, 2023. (Stringer / AFP via Getty Images)

He added that “climate activists are not willing to call out Beijing because they think by doing so Chinese leaders will be offended and will not cooperate on an enhanced climate deal,” but he said the activists “have got it backwards.”

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Waltz pointed to China’s stance on energy and its urging of the rest of the world to engage new energy policies while continuing to open “more coal-fired plants than the rest of the world combined.” BloombergNEF released a report at the beginning of 2023 that found China had spent more than $500 billion on low-carbon energy production – accounting for half of the total spent around the world in 2022 – but the country still possesses an almost unquenchable thirst for coal and oil energy consumption, according to energy watchdogs.

Docks unloading coal supply

Coal is unloaded from a ship at the port in Lianyungang, China, on July 12, 2023. (Stringer / AFP via Getty Images)

The Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, a nonprofit think tank in Helsinki, published a report this year that detailed how China’s coal power plant permitting, construction and project announcement “accelerated dramatically” in 2022 – the highest level since 2015 and exceeding that previous peak.

The only point on which nations continue to find common ground to try and hold China accountable is the issue of Taiwan, but even then the support is checked by the fact that nations continue to affirm the One China policy – part of what the White House has called “strategic ambiguity” about its defense of the island.

Blinken, Xi Jinping shaking hands

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken greets Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 19, 2023. (Leah Millis / Pool Photo via AP)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June said that the Biden administration does not support Taiwan independence but remains committed to making sure Taiwan has the ability to defend itself – mainly due to the fact that “50% of commercial container traffic goes through the Taiwan Strait every day” and that “70% percent of semiconductors are manufactured in Taiwan.”

Waltz called the Biden administration “the softest administration on China since the end of the Cold War,” alleging that the White House has “pursued dialogue with China above all else, even at the expense of action on issues,” such as Taiwan’s backlogged weapons delivery, illegal Iranian oil sales and the Uyghurs.

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“There is a narrative that engaging with China and refraining from consequences will somehow moderate its policy or its desire to dominate Asia,” Waltz said. “Under President Xi, the opposite has been true.”

“China must face consequences for its behavior – that is the only way it will learn,” he added.

The White House did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment by time of publication.

Fox News Digital’s Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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