US State dept concerned by senior UN official’s visit to China’s Xinjiang

UNITED NATIONS, June 15: US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan spoke by phone with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to express concerns regarding the visit of UN Counter Terrorism Office Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov visit to China’s Xinjiang province, US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a readout of the call.
“Deputy Secretary John J. Sullivan spoke by phone today with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to convey deep concerns regarding Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov’s planned travel to Xinjiang, China,” Ortagus said on Friday.
Sullivan said that the visit is “highly inappropriate” in light of Beijimng’s “repression campaign” against Muslims, such as Uighurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, the readout added.
“The UN’s topmost counterterrorism official is putting at risk the UN’s reputation and credibility on counterterrorism and human rights by lending credence to these false claims,” Ortagus quoted Sullivan as saying.
The Deputy Secretary also called for unhindered and unmonitored access of UN human rights experts to the so-called “re-education camps” for Muslims in China, Ortagus said.
Earlier on Friday, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed that Voronkov was on an official trip to China at the invitation of the Chinese Government.
Beijing has also denied reports of repression and the existence of re-education camps on numerous occasions, insisting that the country fully complies with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.