UN Human Rights chief can visit Xinjiang, says China’s foreign minister

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The UN human rights chief can visit Xinjiang but China does not welcome any investigation based on presumption of guilt, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has long sought access to the western Chinese region to investigate accusations of abuse against ethnic Uyghurs.

“(China) rejects all kinds of biases, prejudices and uncalled-for accusations,” Mr. Wang, who is also a Chinese State Councillor, said by video at the Munich Security Conference when asked if Ms. Bachelet would have unrestricted access in Xinjiang.

The issue has strained ties between Beijing and the West, sparking accusations of genocide from Washington and a US-led diplomatic boycott by some countries of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Rights groups accuse China of widescale abuses against Uyghurs and other minority groups, including torture, forced labour and detention of one million people in internment camps.

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 Mr. 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. (Source: The Straits Times)

 

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