US ‘concerned’ after UN human rights chief visits China

The UN rights envoy says her contentious visit to China was ‘not an investigation’

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.”

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.”

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

– ‘Warned not to complain’ –

“The High Commissioner should have been allowed confidential meetings with family members of Uyghur and other ethnic minority diaspora communities in Xinjiang who are not in detention facilities but are forbidden from traveling out of the region.”

“Resignation is the only meaningful thing she can do for the Human Rights Council,” said Dilxat Raxit, spokesperson for the World Uyghur Congress advocacy group, while US-based Uyghur activist Rayhan Asat called it a “total betrayal” on Twitter.

Her office later clarified that her remarks did not contain a direct endorsement of China’s rights record.

Beijing denies the allegations and says it is offering vocational training to reduce potential for Islamist extremism.

Originally published as US ‘concerned’ after UN human rights chief visits China

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