The head of diplomacy in Washington, in a statement, said that the circumstances of Michelle Bachelet’s visit “did not allow for a full and independent assessment of the human rights situation.”
He expressed his “concern over reports that people in Xinjiang have been warned not to complain or speak out about the situation in the region.”
The Chinese region has long been the scene of bloody attacks on civilians, which authorities say have been carried out by separatists, Islamists and the region’s main ethnic group, the Uyghurs.
Agence France-Presse reported that the western Chinese province of Xinjiang has been under heavy surveillance for several years.
Western studies have accused Beijing of detaining more than a million Uyghurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups in “re-education camps” and even using “forced labor” or “forced sterilization”. The United States is talking about genocide.
China condemned the biased reports and spoke of “vocational training centers” aimed at developing job opportunities and eliminating extremism.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights visited Xinjiang, the region’s capital, in Xinjiang, saying he had visited a prison in Kashgar, where he had seen prisoners, among other things, and described access as “fairly open and somewhat transparent.”
He said the Xinjiang government assured him that “the network of vocational training centers has been dismantled.” Michelle Bachelet said she had visited one of the former centers.
Details of his visit were not announced. The former Chilean president was in a medical envelope that kept him from the foreign press due to the epidemic in China.
Bachelet stressed in an online news conference at the conclusion of her trip that his visit, which was excluded from the foreign press, “is not an investigation.”