UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said she had the opportunity to speak ‘frankly’ with the Chinese about the human rights situation in the country during her visit six days in China. It did not have the status of an official investigation, she said.
The tour program included a visit to the Xinjiang region. According to observers and Western countries, the Uyghur Muslim minority is severely oppressed here.
Beijing is accused of detaining more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslims, imposing forced labor and forcibly sterilizing women.
Bachelet said he was able to hold talks with those involved without Chinese interference. During these talks, she called, among other things, on the authorities to provide urgent information to Uyghurs in Xinjiang who have lost contact with their relatives.
Authorities in Xinjiang province reportedly assured him that a so-called “network of vocational training centers” had been dismantled. According to human rights groups, these centers are forced re-education camps.
A meeting between Bachelet and President Xi Jinping was also on the agenda. She describes the visit as an opportunity to “listen to each other”. She also responded to criticism that she had not sufficiently assessed the human rights situation during the trip. “I heard you,” she said after her visit.
Bachelet’s critics have previously described the visit to China as a propaganda trip. Chinese media reported that Bachelet reportedly embraced their view of human rights. His office later said his comments did not constitute direct support.
“Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover.”