United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has acknowledged that the UN is consulting with China about sending a mission of the Human Rights High Commissioner to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Guterres made the remark at a news conference on Monday amid escalating confrontation between Western countries and China over alleged human rights abuses in the region.
Countries including the United States, Britain, and Canada have imposed sanctions on China, citing serious human rights violations. China has announced retaliatory sanctions, saying the blame is not based on the truth.
The UN has refrained from criticizing China directly, but has been calling on Beijing to accept a fact-finding mission due to concerns raised by a number of countries at the Human Rights Council.
Guterres said, "We are seriously engaging the Chinese government in order to be able to have the mission of the Human Rights High Commissioner and to make sure that that mission has no unacceptable limitations." He added, "I hope that this negotiation will be concluded positively."
It is still unclear whether or to what extent China will allow the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her team to carry out an inspection.