U.N. chief to China's leaders: allow 'credible' visit by rights envoy

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

© APA | U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

# 07 February 2022 04:31 (UTC +04:00)

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Chinese leaders on Saturday that he expected authorities to allow U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to make a "credible visit" to the country, including Xinjiang, the United Nations said, APA reports citing Reuters.

Guterres met with China's President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics, according to a U.N. readout of the meetings.

Bachelet has long sought access to Xinjiang to investigate accusations of abuse against ethnic Uyghurs. The issue has soured relations between Beijing and the West, sparking accusations of genocide from Washington and a U.S.-led diplomatic boycott by some countries of the Winter Olympics.

"The Secretary-General ... expressed his expectation that the contacts between the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Chinese authorities will allow for a credible visit of the High Commissioner to China, including Xinjiang," said the U.N. readout of Guterres' meetings.

Bachelet's office in Geneva said last month that conversations were underway for a possible trip to the area in northwest China in the first half of the year.