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Foreign ministry defends UN visit to Xinjiang

By ZHOU JIN/WANG QINGYUN | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-18 08:18
Landscape of Keketuohai National Geological Park in Altay Prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Oct 4, 2012. [Photo/IC]

Beijing slammed irresponsible remarks on Monday that Washington made over a United Nations senior official's visit to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, saying the United States is not in a position to criticize normal cooperation between China and the organization.

On Friday, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "to convey deep concerns" about the trip made to Xinjiang by Vladimir Voronkov, under-secretary-general of UN Counter-Terrorism Office. Sullivan said it was "highly inappropriate", Reuters reported.

"Washington's groundless accusations on China and the UN are futile," Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing.

Voronkov visited Beijing and Xinjiang from Thursday to Saturday and met with senior diplomats including Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng and Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun, the ministry said.

His visit was a success and enhanced counterterrorism cooperation between China and the UN, Lu said, adding that the UN also commended the visit.

The US does not want to hear any fair and objective voices from the international community on the situation in Xinjiang, which is nothing new, the spokesman said.

China has repeatedly stated its solemn stance on Xinjiang-related affairs, and the US is slandering Beijing's policies and legitimate measures on Xinjiang and interfering in the country's domestic affairs, Lu said.

"Washington demands Beijing explain its deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, but when China opens its door and invites UN officials to visit the region, the US criticizes the visit as highly inappropriate. Such practices are extremely hypocritical and make no sense," he added.

Chinese, Philippine fishing boats collide

Beijing said on Monday it will continue to thoroughly and carefully investigate the collision of Chinese and Philippine boats in the South China Sea, and handle the incident properly with Manila based on facts and in a cooperative and friendly manner.

A Chinese fishing boat and a Philippine fishing boat accidentally collided on June 10 near Liyue Tan, a shallow-water region in the South China Sea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

Conveying consolation to the Philippine fishermen who experienced the collision, Lu emphasized the collision was an accident, and said China and the Philippines have communicated several times about the incident.

"It is not appropriate to link the incident to the friendly feelings between the two countries' people or the ties between the two countries or to even politicize the incident," Lu said.

China hopes to strengthen communication with the Philippines to exchange what they have found in their own investigations and find out exactly what happened, he said.

Fishermen from the two countries have been getting along well in the South China Sea and have been looking out for each other, the spokesman said, adding that China attaches great importance to maritime security and will continue to strengthen cooperation with countries in the region.

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