China to UN human rights chief: Duterte has made ‘positive efforts’ to fight drugs, terrorism

China has hailed President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to fight illegal drugs and terrorism and develop the national economy after the United Nations human rights chief suggested the firebrand leader should see a psychiatrist.

“Anyone without bias can see that President Duterte has made positive efforts since assuming office to combat drug-related crimes as well as terrorism, develop the national economy, and improve people’s livelihood, which have effectively protected and promoted the Philippine people’s fundamental rights to security and development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a press briefing on Monday.

Lu also said the “achievements made” by the Duterte administration “on these fronts have won great approval and extensive support among the Philippine people.”

Listing some of Manila’s actions against UN special rapporteurs, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein said last Friday it made “one believe that the president of the Philippines needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric evaluation.”

Zeid and other UN rights officials have focused significant attention on Duterte’s controversial war on drugs.

Duterte has bristled at criticisms of his anti-illegal drugs policy in which thousands have been killed since he took power on June 30, 2016.

His outbursts were aimed at the United States, the UN, the European Union, the Commission on Human Rights, human rights groups and other international institutions that disagree with his heavy handed approach to curb the illegal drug menace.

The President recently told security forces not to cooperate with any human rights probe, but Malacañang clarified the Philippine government remains open to a UN probe as long as it is done by what it referred to as “impartial and neutral” special rapporteurs.

Lu said the international community, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, should “respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines’ fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way.”

He also called for support to the Philippines’ efforts “to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions.”

“As an agency of the UN, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is expected to fulfill its duties within the framework set out by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” Lu said.

Ties with China have warmed under Duterte, who has put aside maritime disputes with Beijing, looking to it to play a key role in building and funding urgently needed infrastructure.