Bachelet’s visit to China, the first by a UN human rights chief since 2005

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet will arrive in China next week, the Foreign Ministry said Friday, in the first such visit since 2005 that has sparked fears among activist groups that it could be seen as endorsing Beijing’s record on the issue.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said earlier this week that the former Chilean president’s trip will include a visit to the remote western region of Xinjiangwhere the UN believes that members of the uyghur ethnicity they are unjustly detained, mistreated and forced to work.

China has denied accusations by Western powers that it has sentenced people to forced labor and committed genocide against the Uyghurs and has warned other countries that do not interfere in their internal affairs with criticism of his actions in Xinjiang.

The organization Human Rights Watch He said on Friday that he and other human rights groups had expressed concern that the Chinese government was “rigging the visit to use it as a public relations stunt.”

The High Commissioner will also visit the city of Guangzhou, in southern China, but will not go to Beijing due to the Covid-19 pandemichis office said.

Bachelet will visit China from May 23 to 28the first visit by a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights since Louise Arbor in 2005.

With information from Reuters

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