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News > China

China Rejects Uighurs Genocide Charge, Invites UN Rights Chief

  • Archival image of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who recently denied charges in Western countries about human rights abuses to his country's Uighur community.

    Archival image of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who recently denied charges in Western countries about human rights abuses to his country's Uighur community. | Photo: EFE/Orlando Barría

Published 22 February 2021 (12 hours 58 minutes ago)
Opinion

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has rejected Western nations' charges about an alleged "genocide" taking place in Xinjiang province and invited UN officials to visit the area.

China's government has rejected “slanderous attacks” related to alleged abuses against Muslim Uighurs and other minorities that live in the Xinjiang region, stating instead that these communities enjoy freedom of religion and other human rights.

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Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in an address to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, commented on the existance of 24,000 mosques in the western region and added that “basic facts show that there has never been so-called genocide, forced labor or religious oppression in Xinjiang.”

During his intervention, he added: “the door to Xinjiang is always open. People from many countries who have visited Xinjiang have learned the facts and the truth on the ground. China also welcomes the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Xinjiang,” referring to UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet, whose office has been negotiating terms of access to the country.

Activists and UN rights experts have claimed that at least one million Muslims are imprisoned in camps in the remote western region. China has denied that abuses are taking place and expressed that the camps in the region provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, spoke on Monday of torture, forced labor, and sterilizations against the Uighur community on an “industrial scale.” Raab called for Bachelet or another independent expert to be given “urgent and unfettered access” to Xinjiang and said that there should be a resolution at the council to this effect.

The international organization, Human Rights Watch, has also claimed that China uses a big-data program to “arbitrarily select” Muslims for detention and that people can be arrested for just wearing a veil, studying the Quran, or going on a Hajj pilgrimage.

President Biden also followed up on his predecessor´s policies against China on this issue and talked about further sanctions on this account against the Asian giant.

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