China warns the United Nations countries not to participate in the Xinjiang crackdown next week

China warns the United Nations countries not to participate in the Xinjiang crackdown next week

China has urged UN member states not to attend an event Germany, the United States and Britain are planning to crack down on Uighur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang next week, according to a note seen by Reuters on Friday.

“It is a politically motivated event,” the Chinese mission to the United Nations wrote in a note dated Thursday. “We ask your mission not to participate in this anti-China event.”

China accused the organizers of the event, which also includes several other European countries besides Australia and Canada, of using “human rights issues as a political tool to interfere in the internal affairs of China, such as Xinjiang, to cause divisions, unrest and disrupt China’s development.”

“They are obsessed with provoking a confrontation with China,” the memo said, adding that “the provocative event will only lead to more confrontation.”

The Chinese mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Wednesday, ambassadors for the United States, Germany and Britain are expected to attend the virtual UN event, along with Human Rights Watch Executive Director Ken Roth and Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard.

The purpose of the event is to “discuss how the United Nations system, member states, and civil society can support and defend the human rights of members of Turkish ethnic communities in Xinjiang,” according to the invitation.

Western countries and rights groups have accused Xinjiang authorities of detaining and torturing Uighurs in camps that the United States has described as genocide.

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In January, Washington banned imports of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang on charges of forced labor.

Beijing denies the allegations and describes the camps as vocational training centers for combating religious extremism.

“Beijing has tried for years to intimidate governments to silence them,” said Luis Charbonneau, director of the United Nations Human Rights Watch. But this strategy failed miserably, as more and more countries came to express their horror and disgust with China. Crimes against the Uyghurs and other Turkish Muslims ”. Friday.

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