LChina has been accused for months of cracking down on the Uighur Muslim minority in the name of anti-terrorism. Xi Jinping, who refutes these accusations, therefore did not take a very good view of the recent visit of Michelle Bachelet, the UN human rights chief. The Chinese president, feeling spied on, suspected a UN investigation. Michelle Bachelet argued the opposite, on Saturday, May 28, during an online press conference. She assured that she had “heard” those who reproached her for her lack of criticism of the Chinese government and had spoken with “frankness” to the communist leaders.

China’s northwestern Xinjiang region has long been the scene of bloody attacks targeting civilians and committed, according to the government, by Uighur separatists and Islamists. In the name of anti-terrorism, the territory has been the subject of draconian surveillance for some years.

What is happening in Xinjiang?

Western studies accuse Beijing of interning more than a million Uighurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups in “re-education camps”. China denounces biased reports and speaks of “vocational training centers” aimed at eradicating extremism.

After a multi-day visit to Xinjiang, Michelle Bachelet urged China to avoid “arbitrary measures” in the region. The regional government assured her that the network of “vocational training centers” had been “dismantled,” Michelle Bachelet said. The 70-year-old former Chilean president also assured that Beijing “did not supervise” her meetings in Xinjiang.

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