EU: China mend in Xinjiang

European Union has urged China to change the situation in Xinjiang, where an estimated one million mostly Muslim minorities are held in internment camps. 

EU ambassador to Beijing, Nicolas Chapuis, told reporters today that EU has made clear to the Chinese side its evaluation and expectations and called for a change in the situation in Xinjiang. 

China has come under increasing global scrutiny over its treatment of ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking minorities in Xinjiang, with the EU and the United Nations requesting access to the region.

Beijing has defended its security crackdown, describing the camps as voluntary “vocational education centres” aimed at steering people away from religious extremism, terrorism and separatism.

Issues of concern in Xinjiang include freedom of religion and expression, the rights of minorities and racial discrimination, he said.

China announced in March that it was inviting EU ambassadors to visit Xinjiang but the two sides have yet to agree on an itinerary.

He said the EU also wants independent observers to be allowed to visit the region.

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