Concerns With UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visit to the People’s Republic of China
Secretary of State
The United States remains concerned about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her team’s visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and PRC efforts to restrict and manipulate her visit. While we continue to raise our concerns about China’s human rights abuses directly with Beijing and support others who do so, we are concerned the conditions Beijing authorities imposed on the visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment in the PRC, including in Xinjiang, where genocide and crimes against humanity are ongoing.
We are further troubled by reports that residents of Xinjiang were warned not to complain or speak openly about conditions in the region, that no insight was provided into the whereabouts of hundreds of missing Uyghurs and conditions for over a million individuals in detention. The High Commissioner should have been allowed confidential meetings with family members of Uyghur and other ethnic minority diaspora communities in Xinjiang who are not in detention facilities but are forbidden from traveling out of the region. We also note that the High Commissioner was not allowed access to individuals who were part of the Xinjiang labor transfer program and have been sent to other provinces across China.
The United States remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in the PRC, particularly in light of new reports that offer further proof of arbitrary detentions among the more than one million people detained in Xinjiang. Survivors and family members of detainees have described cruel treatment that shocks the conscience, including torture, forced sterilization, state-sponsored forced labor, sexual violence, and forced separation of children from their parents. We also urge the PRC to respect the human rights of Tibetans, those living in Hong Kong, and all others who seek to peacefully exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We again call on the PRC to immediately cease its atrocities in Xinjiang release those unjustly detained, account for those disappeared, and allow independent investigators unhindered access to Xinjiang, Tibet, and across China.