Doubts Raised over China's Handling of Bachelet's Visit: Matsuno

Politics

Tokyo, May 30 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Monday that the way China handled a visit to the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has raised doubts in the international community.

Many within the global community are skeptical about whether China allowed Bachelet freedom of movement, access to related facilities and interactions with locals without surveillance by Chinese authorities, as well as whether the trip was enough to clear suspicions of serious human rights violations in the region by the Chinese government, Matsuno, Japan's top government spokesman, told a press conference.

He said that Japan "strongly urges" China to grant free access to the region by third-party observers and to take forward-thinking and concrete actions, including providing transparent explanations over the human rights situation in the region.

After Western countries and human rights groups made allegations of forced labor and other forms of human rights abuse in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region by China, Bachelet arrived in the country on May 23 to visit the region. The Chinese side, which has denied such allegations, claimed that Bachelet's visit to the region was not for conducting an investigation but for promoting exchanges and cooperation.

The U.S. government, among many others, had voiced skepticism over whether Bachelet was able to make an impartial assessment of the human rights situation in the region.

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