(TibetanReview.net, Feb20’22) – China reiterated on Feb 19 that it would host a visit by the UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet, including to Xinjiang, but not for the main reason underlying her interest for undertaking a mission to the country. China is widely alleged to implement genocidal and other systematic human rights abuses on Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
“But one thing is certain, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang do not welcome any investigation based on the presumption of guilt, and they firmly oppose all kinds of prejudice and groundless accusations against China’s ethnic policies,” China’s official Xinhua news agency Feb 20 quoted Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying.
Wang has made the remark while attending the 58th Munich Security Conference via videolink in responses to queries concerning the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the report said.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights “will see a Xinjiang where peace and stability are maintained and people of all ethnic groups live in harmony during her visit,” Wang has said, indicating that this is all Bachelet will get to see of the region during her visit.
Rejecting the widespread reports and allegations of systematic “forced labour” or “re-education camps” as “lies and fabrication”, Wang has maintained that the local government of Xinjiang, in order to maintain the safety of the people, had “carried out deradicalization work through education, in accordance with the practices of countries including Britain and France and international practices.”
“I hope you can believe the Chinese government, and trust what the Chinese government has said and the information that we have been releasing,” Reuters Feb 20 quoted Wang as saying.
Wang has said China was discussing with Bachelet and her office on the schedule for a visit.
Bachelet has long sought access to Xinjiang to investigate accusations of abuse against ethnic Uyghurs.
Asked if Bachelet would have unrestricted access to Xinjiang, Wang has retorted, “(China) rejects all kinds of biases, prejudices and uncalled-for accusations.”
It remains to be seen whether Bachelet will agree to undertake a visit which by all indications will be a chaperoned one, going only to places and meeting only with people prepared and rehearsed for her benefit under close official supervision.