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The U.S., U.K. and other Western countries are pushing for the United Nations to debate China’s ongoing human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, according to a Monday filing.
The call for a debate comes more than a month after the U.N. published a report stating that China is committing “serious human rights violations” in Xinjiang. If agreed to, the U.N. Human Rights Council would debate the issue at its upcoming session in February, Reuters reported.
China’s abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang has been widely documented in recent years. The Muslim minority group has been subjected to forced labor, sterilizations and abortions as part of China’s so-called push to address “extremism” in the region.
The U.S. has accused the Chinese Communist Party of carrying out a genocide against Uyghurs. Internal CCP documents leaked in May revealed the grim reality, with one high-level CCP official issuing a shoot-to-kill order for anyone attempting to escape in 2017.
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“If we all fulfill our duty, Xinjiang will be stabilized,” former Xinjiang secretary Chen Quanguo said in a 2017 speech, according to a translated copy provided by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC). “If they run, just kill them. There will be no problem, because we have already authorized this a long time ago.”
The leaked documents came just as then-United Nations human rights high commissioner Michelle Bachelet embarked on her fact-finding trip to Xinjiang.
Bachelet faced heavy criticism at the time for agreeing to China’s strict limitations on her visit, forcing her to stay within a closed loop of pre-approved individuals throughout the trip.
Bachelet resigned her post soon after returning from the trip and publishing the U.N.’s August report.
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China’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, slammed the report hours before its release, reiterating that Beijing remained “firmly opposed” to the report.
“We haven’t seen this report yet, but we are completely opposed to such a report, we do not think it will produce any good to anyone,” Zhang told reporters outside the Security Council. “We have made it very clear to the high commissioner and in a number of other occasions that we are firmly opposed to such a report.”
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China has long denied any wrongdoing in Xinjiang, arguing it is an internal Chinese matter.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.