Chinese President Xi Jinping and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet met virtually Wednesday ahead of the former Chilean President's visit to areas mentioned in recent reports where an alleged genocide has been perpetrated.
Upon welcoming Bachelet to China, Xi underlined that the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government were committed to the comprehensive protection and safeguarding of human rights and that can out of arrogance teach others how to defend the cause. Xi also stressed the issue should not be politicized as to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.
Xi reportedly told Bachelet there was no ideal nation on human rights and that there was no need for a 'teacher' who is bossy towards other countries.
Bachelet reportedly replied that the UN Human Rights Office was willing to strengthen cooperation with the Chinese side and that I admire China's efforts and achievements in eradicating poverty, protecting human rights, and achieving economic and social development.
The South American physician, who is visiting the Asian country until Friday, held a virtual meeting with the Chinese leader a day after new publications appeared documenting life inside re-education camps in the western region of Xinjiang, where hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are or have been held. China vehemently denies the allegations, calling them the lie of the century.
Xi defended his country's human rights progress, adding that China has a human rights development path that... suits its national conditions.
Bachelet arrived Monday in China for a six-day visit during which she will investigate alleged abuses in Xinjiang, although under fears that she will face restrictions during her stay or be used as a public relations tool by the Communist Party.
Xi also pointed out the CPC has been shouldering the mission of seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation since its birth. For more than 100 years, the CPC has endeavored to serve the interests of the people, Xi said.
Beijing is accused of detaining over one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the far-western region in what Western observers have labeled a genocide.
Bachelet is expected to visit the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar as part of a six-day tour that has been dogged by concerns from Western officials, diplomats and rights groups that the Communist Party will attempt to use it to whitewash abuses.
United States officials have insisted Bachelet's trip was a mistake after the release of thousands of leaked documents and photographs from inside the system of mass incarceration this week.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday that the United States was appalled after a consortium of media outlets reported on thousands of leaked documents and photographs from inside Xinjiang's system of mass incarceration. The Xinjiang Police Files, leaked by an anonymous source to academic Adrian Zenz, showed top leaders in Beijing including President Xi calling for a forceful crackdown.
They also included a 2017 internal speech by Chen Quanguo, Xinjiang's hardline former Communist Party chief, in which he allegedly orders guards to shoot to kill anyone who tries to escape.
Britain and Germany also voiced outrage, with UK foreign secretary Liz Truss calling for China to grant Bachelet full and unfettered access to the region and her German counterpart urging a transparent investigation”.