‘Campuses, Not Camps’: Chinese Minister Justifies Detention Centres For Muslim Uighurs In XinjiangExecutive Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng (Pic via Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PRC)

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Chinese Executive Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng rejected allegations of human rights violations at detention centres in the country’s Muslim province of Xinjiang, and said that centres were “boarding schools or campuses, not camps,” reports The Indian Express.

He maintained the Chinese narrative that the detention centres where ethnic-Uighur Muslims have been kept were meant to provide training and combat terrorism in the province.

The US State Department claimed previously in the week that the Chinese campaign against the Uighur population had been “significantly intensified” over the last one year, with an estimated 800,000 to 2 million people presently detained at the camps.

Le stated that he had personally visited some of the detention centres, playing ping pong and consuming halal food while there. Although the minister did not mention exactly when the centres would be closed, he stated that it would be at “the appropriate time”.

He also slammed the US-led event on Xinjiang taking place in Geneva, terming it as unacceptable interference in China’s sovereign affairs.

His comments were made as part of a response to more than 200 recommendations made by other UN members on how China could improve the human rights situation in the country; the inputs were made as part of the ‘Universal Periodic Review’ which is a process under the framework of the UNHRC.

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