US concerned after UN human rights chief visits China


United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a meeting.

The United States expressed concern on Saturday over China’s “efforts to restrict and manipulate” the UN human rights chief’s visit to the Xinjiang region where Beijing is accused of detaining over a million people in indoctrination camps.

Michelle Bachelet’s long-planned trip this week took her to the far-western Xinjiang region, where the United States has labeled China’s detention of a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities a “genocide.”


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“We are concerned the conditions Beijing authorities imposed on the visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment in (China), including in Xinjiang, where genocide and crimes against humanity are ongoing,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference. File photo

The top US diplomat reiterated his country’s stance that Chinese authorities would not allow Bachelet full access during her long-planned trip, saying the United States was “concerned” about China’s “efforts to restrict and manipulate her visit.”

Bachelet defended her visit earlier on Saturday while still inside China, saying it was “not an investigation” but called on Beijing to avoid “arbitrary and indiscriminate measures” in its crackdown in Xinjiang.

She said the trip was a chance for her to speak with “candour” to Chinese authorities as well as civil society groups and academics.

Her visit was the first to China by a UN high commissioner for human rights in 17 years and comes after painstaking negotiations over the conditions of the visit.

Agence France-Presse




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