China hopes UN rights chief visit will 'clarify misinformation': ministry

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 24 2022 11:33 AM | Updated as of May 24 2022 01:05 PM

Workers make nang in a nang food production base in Urumqi, western China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region during a government-organized trip for foreign journalists, 23 April 2021. Wu Hong, EPA-EFE
Workers make nang in a nang food production base in Urumqi, western China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region during a government-organized trip for foreign journalists, 23 April 2021. Wu Hong, EPA-EFE

BEIJING — China's foreign minister told the United Nations' human rights chief he hoped her landmark visit would help to "clarify misinformation," ahead of her visit to the Xinjiang region.

Wang Yi "expressed the hope that this trip would help enhance understanding and cooperation, and clarify misinformation" during a Monday meeting with Michelle Bachelet, a foreign ministry readout said.

Wang told Bachelet Beijing has "made safeguarding the ethnic minorities' rights an important part of its work, and protecting people's safety its long-term goal," according to the statement.

"To advance the international cause of human rights, we must first... refrain from politicizing human rights," he said.

Bachelet is expected to visit the Xinjiang cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of a six-day tour -- the first to China by a top UN rights official since 2005.

China's ruling Communist Party is accused of incarcerating over one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the far-western region as part of a years-long crackdown the United States and lawmakers in other Western countries have called a "genocide".

Beijing vehemently denies the allegations, calling them the "lie of the century."

Campaigners have voiced fears that authorities will prevent Bachelet from conducting a thorough probe into alleged rights abuses and instead give her a stage-managed tour with limited access.

© Agence France-Presse

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