Chinese diplomats issued a warning to all other permanent missions to the United Nations, telling them not to attend an event on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly this week dedicated to human rights abuses committed against ethnic Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region.
(Bloomberg) — Chinese diplomats issued a warning to all other permanent missions to the United Nations, telling them not to attend an event on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly this week dedicated to human rights abuses committed against ethnic Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region.
The sternly worded letter, which is dated Sept. 14, says China’s permanent mission to the UN expressed its “resolute opposition” and strongly recommended that “your mission NOT” participate in “this anti-China event.”
The event, which took place Tuesday afternoon, featured remarks from US, EU and German diplomats and was organized by the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy institute, as well as advocacy groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
“It’s clear to all that the cosponsors are notorious anti-China organizations,” the Chinese mission said in the letter. “They are obsessed with fabricating lies and spreading malicious disinformation about Xinjiang with no respect for truth, and are plotting to use human rights issues as a political tool to undermine Xinjiang’s stability and disrupt China’s peaceful development.”
Numerous governments and human rights organizations have accused China’s government of widespread, systematic human rights abuses against ethnic Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, including forced labor camps. The US State Department, under the Trump administration, said those abuses — including arbitrary imprisonment, forced sterilization and the suppression of religion — constituted crimes against humanity and genocide.
Read more: Xi Asks Xinjiang Officials to Crack Down on Religious Crimes
A US State Department spokesperson said the US will continue to raise these concerns directly with China and objected to its attempts to silence critics of its human rights record.
In a statement, Atlantic Council president Frederick Kempe said his organization has a “long track record of constructive engagement on matters related to China, and we will continue to pursue an open dialogue regarding both our differences on matters such as human rights and potential areas of cooperation.”
(Updates event timing in third paragraph.)
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