By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 26: China has dismissed the growing criticism by Western countries of its treatment of ‘ethnic minorities’ in Xinjiang and Tibet, and citizens in Hong Kong. China’s ambassador to the United Nations Chen Xu addressed the forum on Wednesday, “At this high-level segment, the U.K., EU, Germany, USA, Canada, and some other countries abused this forum of the Council to make groundless charges against China, to interfere in internal affairs of our country. We firmly oppose and categorically reject these attempts.”
Britain Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Monday denounced torture, forced labour and sterilizations against Muslim Uyghurs on an “industrial scale” in Xinjiang. European Union on Tuesday called on China to allow UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to visit and investigate alleged mistreatment of the Uyghur and Tibetan communities.
“Ignoring reality, the above-mentioned countries fabricate and spread lies about Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong,” Chen noted in his address. He suggested that the Western powers should improve their own records, citing overseas military interventions that have resulted in “repeated killing of innocent people”. “They should resolve their own human rights problems such as deep-rooted racial discrimination, gaps between rich and poor, social inequity, injustice, police brutality,” he further added.
Activists and UN rights experts have said that at least one million Muslims are detained in camps in the Western region of Xinjiang. However, China continues to deny accusations of abuses and says its camps provide vocational training needed to fight extremism.