Employees work at a factory operated by sports brand Erke in Yutian county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. (PHOTO/XINHUA)
Region's officials rebuke report, saying it is based on false information, rumors
The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has said that it will not accept investigations by the international community into its alleged human rights issues following the release of a recent United Nations report on the region that it says is based on false information and rumors, a spokesman for the regional government said.
"We always welcome members of the international community willing to see the real Xinjiang, to visit the region and exchange ideas because we have nothing to hide. But we won't accept and don't need so-called investigations," Xu Guixiang, spokesman for the regional government told a news conference on Sunday.
On Aug 31, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, or OHCHR, issued its assessment of human rights concerns in Xinjiang, Xu said, adding that the assessment was unacceptable because it wasn't objective or fair.
"The assessment was based mainly on false information and rumors spread by anti-China forces. It deliberately chose to ignore the authoritative and objective information provided by the Chinese government. What's more, the assessment has maliciously distorted the laws and policies of China while smearing the necessity, legitimacy and justice of Xinjiang's battle against terrorism and extremism," the spokesman said.
He added that from Xinjiang's perspective, its release violates the UN Charter and has damaged the reputation of the OHCHR and called it a "politicized document manufactured by the United States and some Western forces".
Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet visited Xinjiang in May and conducted extensive and in-depth exchanges with people there. The assessment was not in line with the statement she made after the tour, Xu said.
He added that he hopes Volker Turk, who is expected to take up the role of the High Commissioner on Oct 17, will be able to be objective on human rights issues in Xinjiang.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Sept 1 that the US and some Western countries had gone to great lengths to pressure the OHCHR to release the assessment, and that their schemes would be unpopular and lead nowhere.
Wang said that the report did not represent the UN, let alone the international community and added that opposition to the report was the mainstream position of the international community.