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China says UN has ‘closed the door’ on cooperation over human rights with Xinjiang report

UN publishes long-awaited report on 31 August despite pressure from Beijing

Sravasti Dasgupta
Friday 09 September 2022 18:06 BST
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China: UN report alleges crimes against humanity in Xinjiang

China has said that the United Nations (UN) has closed its “doors of cooperation” with Beijing after the publication of a report earlier this month on the alleged human rights abuses in the country’s Xinjiang province.

Chen Xu, China’s ambassador to the UN, lashed out at the global body and said in Geneva on Friday: “The office closed the door of cooperation by releasing the so-called assessment.”

The long-awaited report was published on 31 August despite pressure from Beijing and sought “urgent attention” from the world community to rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The 48-page report stated that serious human rights violations have been committed against Uyghurs in the name of the “government’s application of counter-terrorism and counter-extremism strategies”.

“The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups ... may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity,” the report said.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had termed the report a “farce”.

“We firmly oppose the release of the so-called Xinjiang-related report by the UN Human Rights Office. This report is a farce orchestrated by the US and a small number of western powers,” he said.

The report was released at the end of the four-year term of UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet who had said that she had been under pressure from both rights activists in the world community and the UN to publish or not to publish the report.

Last week the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the assessment in Xinjiang was orchestrated by the West.

“The so-called assessment you mentioned is orchestrated and produced by the US and some Western forces,” and is a “a political tool” meant to contain China, he said.

While China has rejected human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslims, the UN report is expected to be discussed in the human rights council next week.

Additional reporting by agencies

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