UK to challenge China at UN meeting for Xinjiang access

Feb, 22nd 2021 – The United Kingdom is today set to call on urgent and unrestricted access for the United Nations to investigate reports of abuses in the far western Chinese region, as Britain returns to the UN Human Rights Council as a voting member.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is also expected to condemn the rights record of fellow council members China and Russia and raise concerns about Myanmar and Belarus.

He said, “The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, or another independent fact-finding expert, must, and I repeat must, be given urgent and unfettered access to Xinjiang.”

China has been widely condemned for concentration camps where hundreds of thousands of people in Xinjiang are detained and placed in vocational training centers.

Beijing says that it is ready to welcome UN officials in Xinjiang on condition that they stay out of the country’s internal affairs.

Last year, it was reported that China was expanding its network of detention centers in Xinjiang. According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), more than 380 suspected detention facilities have been identified in the region.

The United Nations says that more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking residents have been held in recent years.

According to his office, Raab is set to also raise the crisis in Myanmar and the situation in Belarus. He will take steps to address the issues, such as sanctions.

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