onsdag 25. mai 2022

Xi Jinping defends China’s human rights record to visiting UN commissioner

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has spoken with the UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, as she visited the Xinjiang region, warning against the politicisation of human rights as an “excuse to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries” and defending his government’s record.

It comes amid renewed defensiveness in Beijing after the publication of a significant data leak from Xinjiang’s security apparatus, including mugshots of thousands of detained Uyghurs and internal documents outlining shoot-to-kill policies for those who try to escape. Xinjiang is home to millions of Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims, who have been subjected to a Chinese government campaign of cultural, linguistic and social control and acts of oppression that governments including the US have termed a genocide.

Bachelet, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, is in China for a highly orchestrated six-day visit, including the Xinjiang cities of Kashgar and Urumqi. The tour, which China has said is not an investigation, has been met with criticism by some western legislators over its potential to be used as propaganda.