UN Human Rights Chief Xinjiang Visit A Fiasco
Michelle Bachelet visited a prison and a former “vocational education and training centre”.
Bachelet's long-planned trip this week has taken her to the far-western Xinjiang region, where China is alleged to have detained over a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, as well as carried out forced sterilisation of women and coerced labour.
But Chinese did not allow her to visit concentration camps, and the UN Human Rights Chief did not protest.
It appeared to be premeditated goal of Communist China to confuse Bachelet who even before the visit has been cautious not to criticise human rights violations by Beijing.
The former Chilean president spent two days in the north-western Chinese region where 1mn Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been subjected to mass internments, forced labour and re-education camps, as well as draconian tech-based surveillance and police persecution.
In Ürümqi, the capital, and Kashgar, another big city, Bachelet met senior Communist party and security officials and visited a prison and a former “vocational education and training centre”, among other facilities. Beijing has for years insisted that the VETC system was necessary as part of its response to terrorism and poverty in the region.
After these visits she even echoed Chinese propaganda.
The government assured me that the VETC system has been dismantled, she told reporters in Guangzhou.
Chinese did not hide their contentment from the failed visit.
Certain Western countries... went to great lengths to disrupt and undercut the High Commissioner's visit, their plot didn't succeed, Chinese vice foreign minister Ma Zhaoxu said in an online statement after Bachelet's briefing ended.
Speaking at the end of her trip while still inside China, Bachelet framed her visit as a chance for her to speak with "candour" to Chinese authorities as well as civil society groups and academics.