U.N. Human Rights Council heads to visit China in May, including Xinjiang region

The head of the council has long been attempting to secure access to the region.
Image
Chinese border guards patrol the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Chinese border guards patrol the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
(Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China)

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Tuesday that her visit to China this spring will include a stop in the Xinjiang region, where human rights abuses that amount to genocide have been reported against the Uyghur population.

"I am pleased to announce that we have recently reached an agreement with the government of China for a visit," Bachelet said in a video addressing her council.

ChinaU.N. Ambassador Chen Xu told the council that "we welcome the high commissioner's visit to Xinjiang this May. And China will work together with the [U.N's Office of the High Commissioner, Human Rights] to make good preparation for this visit."

Bachelet, the former president of Chile, has been attempting to gain meaningful access to the region for years. According to Reuters, Bachelet and the Chinese government have been in negotiations pertaining to what the visit will look like and the type of access that will be made available. 

International lawmakers and diplomats including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss continue to speak out against the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.