UN human rights chief’s visit to China: ‘No preacher needed,’ says Xi

Shire’s remarks in a video call with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet could add to the controversy surrounding a trip that critics say is becoming a risky tool in Beijing’s campaign.
Bachelet, who arrived in China on Monday on a six-day visit, is expected to visit far-western Xinjiang, where the Chinese government faces charges of mass captivity, forced assimilation, forced labor and forced sterilization against Uyghurs and many others. Muslim minorities.

Beijing has repeatedly denied the allegations.

But the visit – the first by a UN human rights chief in China since 2005 – raises questions about Bachelor’s access and freedom of speech with locals without supervision, raising fears that it could jeopardize the credibility of his office.

On Wednesday, Xi Bachelet called China’s human rights development “in line with its own national situation.”

“On the issue of human rights, no country is perfect, no ‘preachers’ are needed to settle around another country, yet they should not use this issue as an excuse to politicize, practice double standards or interfere in another country.” Shike was quoted by broadcaster CCTV.

Bachelet said he was committed to the visit because “direct involvement with the Chinese government on human rights is a priority,” according to a statement from OHCHR to CNN.

“For development, peace and security – locally and across borders – to be sustainable, human rights must be at their core,” Bachelet said. “China has an important rule to play in the multilateral organization to address many of the world’s current challenges, including threats to international peace and security, instability in the global economic system, inequality, climate change and more.”

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Xinjiang was also not mentioned in the CCTV readout of the meeting or in Bachelet’s statement.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Bachelet is expected to visit the cities of Kashgar and Urumqi in Xinjiang. The ministry said its trip would be conducted in a “closed loop” – meaning its delegation would be isolated inside a “bubble” to contain the potential spread of the Covid-19 and no international journalists would be allowed to travel with it.

“We have no expectation that (China) will provide the necessary access to conduct a full, impartial assessment of the human rights environment in Xinjiang,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Tuesday.

“We think it was a mistake to agree to a visit to the situation,” Price said.

In a statement on Monday, Amnesty International said Bachelet must “take action against crimes against humanity and extreme human rights abuses” during his visit.

“Michelle Bachelet’s long-delayed visit to Xinjiang is an important opportunity to address human rights abuses in the region, but it will also be an ongoing battle against the Chinese government’s efforts to cover up the truth,” said Agnes Calamard, the agency’s secretary general.

“The United Nations must take steps to curb this and prevent it from being used to support shameless propaganda.”

This story has been updated with a statement from Michelle Bachelet.

Additional Reuters report.

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