UN human rights chief can visit Xinjiang but Beijing doesn't welcome any probe, says China's foreign minister

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Feb 20, 2022, 12:35 PM(IST)

File photo: A Chinese police officer takes his position by the road near what is officially called a vocational education centre in Yining in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The US has accused China of mass detention, torture, forced labour and genocide in Xinjiang

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet can visit Xinjiang, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday (February 19). However, a full-scale investigation is highly unlikely as Beijing has said it doesn't welcome any probe based on the presumption of guilt in the region. 

Some of the Western countries have accused China of 'egregious' human rights violations in the Xinjiang region against the Uyghur Muslims, which China has repeatedly denied. 

The US has accused China of mass detention, torture, forced labour and genocide in Xinjiang. The issue remained in headlines before and during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. 

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Some countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics. They didn't send government officials to the Games but athletes from the mentioned countries participated. 

UN Human Rights Chief has long sought access to the western Chinese region to investigate accusations of abuse against ethnic Uyghurs. 

But on being asked if Bachelet would have unrestricted access in Xinjiang, Wang said by video at the Munich Security Conference: "(China) rejects all kinds of biases, prejudices and uncalled-for accusations." 

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China says the camps are re-education and training facilities and denies any abuse, saying it is fighting religious extremism. The so-called systematic forced labour or education camps are all lies and fabrication, said Wang. 

"I hope you can believe the Chinese government, and trust what the Chinese government has said and the information that we have been releasing," he said. 

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(With inputs from agencies)

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