At U.N., China Defends Mass Detention of Uighur Muslims

By Nick Cumming-Bruce | New York Times

GENEVA — China faced calls on Tuesday from Western government to end its mass detention of Uighur Muslims, but brusquely rebuffed the concerns as “not factual” and “politically driven.”

“China is here to seek cooperation,” said its vice foreign minister, Le Yucheng, at the opening of a review by the United Nations Human Rights Council. He pointed to China’s achievements in lifting millions of people from poverty, largely skirting its treatment of ethnic minorities.

The focus and tone changed after North American and European diplomats expressed concern over deteriorating human rights and a crackdown in the western region of Xinjiang that has swept upwards of a million people into indefinite detention in re-education camps. The Muslim detainees are told that they are infected with an “ideological virus,” and are indoctrinated in devotion to the state and the Communist Party.