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China defends Xinjiang centres for Muslims, but aims to 'downsize'

Le Yucheng Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Geneva, Switzerland Mar 15, 2019, 04.11 PM (IST)

Chinese vice foreign minister Le Yucheng on Friday defended what China calls its 'vocational training centers' in Xinjiang for Muslims and rejected interference in domestic affairs.

Le, speaking to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva at the conclusion of a review of its record, said: 'As the counter-terrorism situation improves, the training programme will be gradually downsized, leading to its completion'.

Norway voiced disappointment at China's lack of transparency over what activists say are up to 1.5 million Uighurs and other Muslims detained in what they describe as 'places of internment'. Pakistan praised China's 'efforts to provide care to its Muslim citizens'.