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Wang meets with senior UN rights official as she opens her Xinjiang trip

China says its foreign minister met with the UN’s top human rights official during his visit to the country and told her that China opposes the “politicization” of human rights. man and the imposition of double standards

Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Michelle Bachelet in the southern city of Guangzhou on Monday as she embarked on a trip that is the first to China by a United Nations high commissioner for human rights since 2005.

His six-day fact-finding visit focuses on allegations of abuse against Muslim minorities in the northwest region of Xinjiang, but rights groups fear his visit could help whitewash the abuse.

China has locked down around a million or more members of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in what critics describe as a campaign to erase their separate cultural identities. China says it has nothing to hide and invites anyone with no political bias to visit Xinjiang and see what it describes as a successful campaign to fight terrorism and restore order and ethnic cohesion.

From Guangzhou, Bachelet will travel to Kashgar, once a stop on the Silk Road, and Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. The UN and China have banned foreign media from accompanying Bachelet, and it is unclear who she will meet and what access she will be granted throughout her visit.

The UN quoted Bachelet telling Wang that she looked forward to interacting with “many different people during my visit, especially with government officials, business leaders, academics, students and members of civil society working on human rights and other social and economic issues”. .”

“As we discuss sensitive and important issues, I hope this will help us build trust and enable us to work together to advance human rights in China and around the world,” Bachelet said.

“Wang noted that to advance the international cause of human rights, we must first respect each other and refrain from politicizing human rights,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. press published on its website.

“Multilateral human rights institutions should serve as a major venue for cooperation and dialogue rather than a new battleground for division and confrontation,” the ministry said.

China’s ruling Communist Party does not allow any political opposition and strictly limits freedom of speech, as well as the rights to assembly and religious expression. China is also one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council with veto power and has signed but not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights administered by Bachelet’s office.

Beijing has also been criticized for its refusal to criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as its radical “zero-COVID” approach to the pandemic which has disrupted the lives of tens of millions of citizens and upended television channels. global supply.

ABC News

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