UN chief asks China to allow ‘credible’ visit to Xinjiang

United Nations, Feb 5 (EFE).- The United Nations chief Antonio Guterres Saturday said he expected Chinese leaders to allow a “credible visit” by UN’s human rights head Michelle Bachelet to Xinjiang, where people from Uyghur ethnic minority have suffered alleged abuse.

Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, who is in Beijing for the Winter Olympics, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The UN chief appreciated China’s “strong support for the UN and multilateralism,” a UN statement said.

But he “expressed his expectation that the contacts between the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Chinese authorities will allow for a credible visit of the High Commissioner to China, including Xinjiang,” the statement said.

Bachelet has not been able to visit Xinjiang even as she has been talking to the Chinese authorities since 2018 for a trip to assess the rights situation amid allegations of widespread abuse against ethnic Uyghurs.

The alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang in northwest China have sparked a United States-led global boycott by some countries of the Winter Olympics.

Bachelet’s spokesperson in Geneva said last month that talks were on for a possible trip to the area by the rights chief in the first half of the year.

There have been widespread allegations that the Chinese authorities have established internment camps for hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

China says such camps are “vocational training centers” to better the economy and society in the remote region.

But the US, the UK, Germany, Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Amnesty International have alleged Uyghurs have suffered mass arrests, torture, and forced labor in these camps.

Some governments, including the United States, have even alleged genocide.

Guterres has traveled to Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics despite calls from the US for a diplomatic boycott to protest human rights violations in China. EFE


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