U.S. calls U.N. rights chief’s visit to China a mistake

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends an event at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, November 3, 2021.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it was a mistake for the United Nations human rights chief to agree to visit China amid concerns that government restrictions on her access could undermine scrutiny of Beijing’s rights record.

State Department spokesman Ned Price made the comment at a regular press briefing, where he also called on China to abolish internment camps in its western Xinjiang region.

During her six-day trip that began on Monday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will visit Xinjiang, where her office said last year it believes mostly Muslim ethnic Uyghurs have been unlawfully detained, mistreated and forced to work.